Friday, January 05, 2007

Iraq Troop Levels.

Almost everyone agrees that one of the biggest failiures of the Iraq war was going in with insufficient troops numbers to maintain a reasonable level of security. In large part this was due to the focus on defeating the Iraqi military rather than terrorists. So if we know that there were too few troops then why has it become the received wisdom that the troop 'surge' that Bush is currently implementing is doomed to failiure and we should be cutting the number of coalition personel? It seems to me that the surge is the correct policy and that only by wresting control of Baghdad from sectarian militias will Iraq be stabilised.


Anonymous said...

General Shinseki announced prior to the invasion of Iraq that he expected that it would take approx. 400,000 troops to stabilize a post-invasion Iraq. That was, of course, presuming that the civilian population was mostly cooperative, and NOT engaged in a full-scale civil war. It is probably safe to say that we should have at LEAST 600,000 troops to have a chance in hell of succeeding.

Even with the additional troops Bush is sending, we have barely more than 150,000 U.S. troops in Iraq, plus a disgustingly small number of coalition troops.

If you want to stabilize Iraq, then you will need to send a whole lot more than Bush is currently willing to send. You will need to send more than we have, since the military is already stretched to the breaking point.

Until I see as many bumper-stickers saying "Bring back the draft!" as I see proclaiming support of the troops, I refuse to believe that we can succeed.

The only sane course of action, given our current limitations (too-small number of troops, the fact that we have become targets rather than peace-keepers, Bush's complete lack of honesty and competence) is to get out.

The sooner, the better.

Ross F said...

Thanks for the comment, there certainly aren't enough troops to pacify all of Iraq but from what Bush has been saying I have got the impression that the focus is on securing Baghdad rather than the entire country.