Sunday, July 30, 2006

Not enough troops in Iraq

What a bunch of geniuses; I've been saying this since 2003.

BAGHDAD, Iraq - The Bush administration's decision to move thousands of U.S. soldiers into Baghdad to quell sectarian warfare before it explodes into outright civil war underscores a problem that's hindered the U.S. effort to rebuild Iraq from the beginning: There aren't enough troops to do the job.

Many U.S. officials in Baghdad and in Washington privately concede the point. They say they've been forced to shuffle U.S. units from one part of the country to another for at least two years because there haven't been enough soldiers and Marines to deal simultaneously with Sunni Muslim insurgents and Shiite militias; train Iraqi forces; and secure roads, power lines, border crossings and ammunition dumps.

Gee, no kidding. Couldn't have seen that one coming. A basic military maxim is that you don't want to take the same ground twice. Which is why stuff like this should have tipped off anybody paying attention:

But when U.S. forces have cracked down in one place, Iraqi insurgents and foreign terrorists have popped up in another. Some towns have been pacified multiple times, only to return to chaos as soon as the Americans reduced troop numbers. In cities such as Baghdad, Kirkuk, Samarra and Ar-Ramadi, bloodshed ebbs and flows, but security is never a given.

I've said it before, I'll say it again: Even if you support the reasons for invading Iraq, you ought to be furious about the incompetence of most of the execution. And we face a choice: either get serious about winning -- by sending in enough troops -- or get out. Half measures serve nobody.

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Blogger Dyre42 said...

You and I are of the same mind on this issue although I'm of the opinion that Rumsfeld should commit sepuku to atone for his failures in this war. Although I realize that that's as likely to happen as this administration admitting it screwed up in the first place by sending in too few troops.

7/31/2006 3:40 AM  
Blogger Sean Aqui said...

At this point it's moot what the administration says. What I hope is happening is that the rest of the body politic is taking note of what the administration has done so we don't repeat its mistakes in the future.

History will judge this administration harshly, I believe. Bush might get credit for having ambitious goals. But some of those goals were mendacious -- drastically expanding the power of the executive branch, for example -- and in most of the ones that mattered he just plumb screwed it up.

7/31/2006 7:25 AM  

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