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Friday, June 17, 2005

I was referring to Rumsfeld, but anyway

Well, I actually got some traffic and feedback today, so I suppose I'll respond. I'm perfectly willing to consider that more soldiers in Iraq, say 320,00 of them, would have been a better idea.

*We did allow chaos to reign in Iraq for a year, with mild looting of artifacts and intense looting of Saddam's armory.

* We did let the insurgents build up their capabilities while we scurried around looking for looters.

* We did turn an orderly, brutal regime into disorderly, brutal anarchy.

* We did go into Iraq without much of a plan for running the country afterwards. I think the prevailing mindset among warmongers like Colin Powell and me was that we would deal with situations as they arose.

The administration did have and does still have a long term plan for success in Iraq. That plan consists of sending men to their deaths until everything is OK. I am being glib, but that is, in fact, the strategy. It's the same strategy we used so successfully in Vietnam, as some sagacious pundits have pointed out. The differences between Iraq and Vietnam are that:

1) The insurgents are fewer in number

2) Our M-16s are equipped with 3 round burst mode instead of full automatic mode, and

3) There is less water, eliminating the need for Swift Boats.

While I recognise the problems that the More Troops faction raise, I don't think more troops would have improved the situation. I'm not sure how overworked the combat arms are, but the quartermasters I know aren't stretched especially thin. Neither, apparently, are the MP units.

The problems I saw in the first months of the occupation were problems of policy, not manpower. We were reluctant to go into mosques-

God forbid we enter a religious building to fight religious fundamentalists-

We sent all the Baathist bureaucrats home, leaving no one to run the country. We dismantled the military, ending the rule of law.

I think we did a fair job with propaganda, considering the circumstances.

Oh, and Dudes! I totally said Libya when I meant Syria! I was like, awww, man, I can't believe I did that. I musta been thinking of nukes instead of chem weapons or something.

By the way, does anyone know why we really invaded? I hope it was for oil, and not something stupid like creating a new world order. [Update: Turns out it was for the new world order.]

One final thought on this whole debate. As one commenter to the previous post noted, all I've really done are make unsubstantiated speculations about what might have happened with more troops. I would like to point out that that is the same thing More Troops folks are doing. It is the same thing Rumsfeld et al. did when they made the decision to use minimal force.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm perfectly willing to consider that more soldiers in Iraq, say 320,00 of them, would have been a better idea.


11:22 PM  

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