Many lessons are to be found in the conduct of the Iraq war. Doubtless, the most important one is to have a plan to restore order once the fighting ends. Just weeks after Operation Iraqi Freedom started, Bush declared "Mission Accomplished" from the deck of the USS Abraham Lincoln. His administration believed that a grateful nation would transform itself from a country with a long history of tribal conflicts and no history of democratic institutions into a model of American democracy and a reliable, stable ally in an important part of the world. Unfortunately, America, as the occupying power, lacked any plan to restore Iraq's infrastructure, both physical and political. The power vacuum created by disbanding the Ba'ath military was enough to allow Al Qaeda in Iraq to establish itself and recruit followers, many of them former Ba'athist military. Rather than stabilizing Iraq, removing Saddam Hussein fragmented it. America ignored the lessons it learned after World War II and the Marshall Plan, that it takes time, money and ongoing commitment to rebuild nations after wars wreck them.