Failure to rapidly identify errors and rectify them through changes of plans, strategies and personnel. Error is common in war. The measure of a military force is how honestly errors are addressed and rectified. When a command structure begins denying that self- evident problems are facing them, all is lost. The administration's insistence over the past year that no fundamental errors were committed in Iraq has been a cancer eating through
all layers of the command structure -- from the squad to the office of the president.
Failing to understand the political dimension of the war and permitting political support for the war in the United States to erode by failing to express a clear, coherent war plan on the broadest level. Because of this failure, other major failures -- ranging from the failure to find weapons of mass destruction to the treatment of Iraqi prisoners -- have filled the space that strategy should have occupied. The persistent failure of the president to explain the linkage between Iraq and the broader war has been symptomatic of this systemic failure.