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From 1987 to 2001, Tommy Thompson served as the 42nd Governor of Wisconsin, having been elected to an unprecedented four terms. Thompson's initiatives during his 13 years as governor of[…]

A less than thorough preparation.

I . . . I wouldn’t go so far as to say “irresponsible”. Not well thought out. I think, you know, that we do have a . . . we do have one, because there was almost a 78% to 82% approval rating of the President of going to war and taking care of Saddam Hussein. Granted, we didn’t find the weapons of mass destruction, but we thought they were there. And it wasn’t just the Republicans. The Democrats did as well. It was prior administrations that thought that Saddam Hussein was building a nuclear capability. But the truth of the matter is they weren’t. But once you’re there, you’ve gotta be able to win that war and then have an exit strategy. We didn’t do that. We tried to do it on the cheap. You know, we tried to go in there and say, you know, “We can do this with 130,000 men and women. And we get in, and then we’ll decide when we get out.” We didn’t have . . . we didn’t do the upfront planning. So you know I fault a lot of us. I fault, you know, myself, because I was a part of the administration. I fault, you know, the Republicans and Democrats in Congress not having a better thought out plan. And I fault the Department of Defense. You know? They should’ve had a plan, you know, of going in there. Because they were told that there were just not enough forces to win the war and stabilize the peace. And we made lots of mistakes. And those mistakes, you know, it’s easy to look back and say, you know, we should’ve corrected them; but I don’t think we did enough upfront planning in order to carry out that war. But now we’re there. How do we get out of it? How do we stabilize the region? How do we win the peace? Recorded on: 7/6/07