A few more details on the September planning for seizing the oilfields of southern Iraq, which I mentioned
The United States military, indeed every general staff, will have plans on file not only for the wars a country might likely face, but even for many of the most improbable scenarios -- even potential conflict against current allies. If I'm not mistaken, I think I recall that the United States had war plans on file for war against the United Kingdom well into the early decades of the 20th century.
This isn't a sign of agression or bad faith, just preparedness for any eventuality. And besides planning for wars is what staff officers do.
In any case, war against Iraq was something Pentagon planners had been preparing for for years -- especially after 1991. So there was an existing plan on the shelf when 9/11 came along.
That, however, is not what I was referring
to in the post below when I spoke about planning for war against Iraq in September 2001.
When Centcom planners were tasked with preparing to seize Iraq's southern oilfields they took the existing plan for an all-out invasion and essentially whittled it down, since conquering southern Iraq was a smaller version of what would be needed to conquer the entire country.
The chatter around Centcom at the time was this gambit was being pushed by Wolfowitz and was not necessarily done on the say-so of the White House.
How do I know this? From a highly credible source with first-hand knowledge.