n mid-2004, after U.S forces had been fighting in Iraq for just over a year, the then Defense Secretary ordered the Pentagon to draw up a list of potential catastrophes that had been avoided.
The document - dubbed the 'What did not happen' memo - was drawn up to make the embattled politician feel better.
It outlines 29 eventualities that Pentagon officials had apparently planned for, but which had not yet happened - like 'Saddam uses WMD against U.S. or allied forces'.
But it also listed ten things that did eventually happen, and for which the invasion forces were clearly not prepared, including:
- Iraq descends into anarchy
- Iraq becomes Balkanized
- There are mass Iraqi casualties
- The oil infrastructure is severely damaged or destroyed
- Disruption of oil production causes widespread economic problems
- Another state (e.g. North Korea) takes advantage of U.S. focus on Iraq
- There is widespread vigilante justice
- Shi'a holy sites are damaged or destroyed
- A revolt of the 'Arab street' in Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, or Jordan causes political instability
- There is a dramatic surge in terrorist recruitment
Rumsfeld commissioned the memo in July 2004, just over a year after the initial invasion and four months after the lynching of four Blackwater mercenaries in Fallujah marked the beginning of a bloody insurgency.