But as you yourself said, wether or not those plans are adhered to is something else.The US military and State Department literally have sections dedicated to planning such operations, that's their entire job and they (again literally) wrote the book(s) on how and what to do.
Military and civilian agencies who's job it is to prepare and flesh out contingency operations based on current requirements, information and resources. If implemented as planned and supported by political will then yes the plans were likely realistic and achievable.
Also, professionals can also make mistakes, especially in war, with many examples of that. And sith all do respect, i've met plenty of state department people who were completely ignorant of where they were posted.
Yes, and the problem is, you are going to get foreign fighters coming in which could cause the Americans to prolong the occupation until they are dealt with (which was likely unachievable).Long term occupation is something the US does not do well and the 'goal' is always to reach a point where the "government" is stable and friendly enough to allow a major reduction in forces.
Assad (Hafez) was until the Gulf War in the Soviet camp, and joined the war for his own motives. Now, put yourself in his shoes: you are the ruler of a country that for two decades was alied with the US's rival, Saddam was a dictator who who was toppled with his expansionism being cited as the cause. You yourself are a dictator who conquered Lebanon and now the Americans are at your border, who's to say that toppeling Saddam didn't give them any ideas about toppeling you?Didn’t know they were that dead set against regime change, why is that? Were the Syrians agianst it? And I can see why the Turks would be against it thought. And in this scenario the coalition is for it. Maybe Bush Sr made good arguments or coerced everyone to support an invasion and take part.
then basically with the other Arab partners, it's one thing to help defend an Arab state, it's entirely different to join a non Arab state in invading and occupying Arabs. Many of those regimes were unpopular at home anyway, this could doom some of them.
and about coercion, it could work in the short term, but it can needlessly antagonize said alies and turn them against you.