The Senate Intelligence Committee on Friday released declassified pre Iraq war intelligence reports, and summaries of others, that warned that establishing democracy in Iraq would be "long, difficult and probably turbulent."
The committee's chairman, Sen. Jay Rockefeller, said:
"These dire warnings were widely distributed at the highest levels of government, and it's clear that the administration didn't plan for any of them."
The documents also said that while most Iraqis would welcome elections, the country's ethnic and religious leaders would be unwilling to share power.
President Bush and then Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld ignored the warnings; they decided not to deploy the major occupation force that military planners had recommended.
They instead planned to reduce U.S. troops rapidly after the invasion, in the naive belief that toppling Saddam Hussein would ignite a democratic revolution across the Middle East.
The administration also instituted a massive purge of members of the Baath Party, and disbanded the Iraqi army. This misguided policy sparked the Sunni Muslim insurgency.