Full episode
333: The Center for Lessons Learned
Act One


This American Life producer Nancy Updike tells the story of Conrad Crane, the head of the U.S. Army Military History Institute. Along with Andrew Terrill, he was commissioned by the Army to look at previous post-war occupations and give advice about how to stabilize and reconstruct post-war Iraq. The booklet they produced, which includes nine pages of detailed instructions on how to occupy Iraq, predicted many of the problems that eventually came to haunt the occupation. Although it was admired by successful commanders in Iraq, including H.R. McMaster, Updike explains why it was ignored by Pentagon officials. (22 minutes)