BREAKING! Too Few Troops For "Mission" In Iraq

Sit down. The news I am going to provide you, via the Washington Post, will shock you. The United States does not have enough troops in Iraq to carry out the mission it has been given:

. . . Retired Army Gen. Barry R. McCaffrey, who in 2003 was among the first to call public attention to the relatively small size of the U.S. invasion force, said that the new operation shows how outnumbered U.S. troops remain. "Why would we think that a temporary presence of 30,000 additional combat troops in a giant city would change the dynamics of a bitter civil war?" he said in an interview yesterday. "It's a fool's errand."

An officer working in Arrowhead Ripper, the subsidiary offensive in Diyala province, said wearily, "We just do not have the forces in country right now to have the appropriate level of presence across the country."

Many counterinsurgency experts agree. Andrew F. Krepinevich Jr., the director of the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, a national security think tank, said flatly that Army Gen. David H. Petraeus, the top U.S. commander in Iraq, does not have enough troops. "I suspect General Petraeus is taking a risk here, but that's what commanders do," he said.

Who'da thunk it? Well, actually everyone with a brain, starting with General Eric Shinseki:

The Army's top general said Tuesday a military occupying force for a postwar Iraq could total several hundred thousand soldiers.
Iraq is "a piece of geography that's fairly significant," Gen. Eric K. Shinseki said at a hearing of the Senate Armed Services Committee. And he said any postwar occupying force would have to be big enough to maintain safety in a country with "ethnic tensions that could lead to other problems."

In response to questioning by Sen. Carl Levin of Michigan, the senior Democrat on the committee, Shinseki said he couldn't give specific numbers of the size of an occupation force but would rely on the recommendations of commanders in the region.

"How about a range?" said Levin.

"I would say that what's been mobilized to this point, something on the order of several hundred thousand soldiers," the general said. "Assistance from friends and allies would be helpful."

But Alice in Wonderland is where we are now. The Media pretends, the Beltwasy pretends, everybody supporting this fiasco pretends, that what we are doing somehow has a chance of working.

I have always said that those who say they want us to stay in Iraq are morally bound to demand we implement a serious strategy and demand the right force size and resources. They NEVER EVER do. They instead keep pretending things are getting better. Joe Lieberman repeats his lies continually, with the highlight being his annual repeat of the same column in the Wall Street Journal.

The continued mendaciousness in support of the Bush policy, which has NO CHANCE of success. is simply immoral. What we now have for a strategy in IRaq ia sham, where we continue to believe that the Iraqi security forces will step up. They will NEVER step up for IRAQ. They will step up for their faction. That is what the true story here is:

That view underscores the question of the reliability and combat effectiveness of Iraqi security forces. Essentially, any additional combat power is going to have to come largely from them, as will the capability to "hold" large areas outside the capital. "The Iraqi security forces will be able to sustain and continue to improve their ability to maintain security," Odierno predicted. "They are staying and fighting. They are taking casualties."

Oh please. I could cite quotes that use almost those exact words for the past 3 years. No, they are NOT General. No, they never will General. Stop the charade!

Iraqi security forces are "the weak link," said counterinsurgency expert Krepinevich. The Iraqi government is so factionalized that Iraqi forces remain largely ineffective, he explained: "This is the principal weak spot in our strategy -- and I'm afraid it may be fatal."

MAY? Are you kidding me? WAS fatal. It is over. This is part of the problem. People need to tell the truth, especially those who know it. Stop pussyfooting around.

I think this is the most descriptive portion of the article:

In terms of the fighting, the question may be academic. "There isn't much more land power available for use in Iraq and Afghanistan," retired Gen. Gordon R. Sullivan, a former Army chief of staff, recently commented. "We are now 'all in' " -- that is, in poker terms, the U.S. armed forces have put all their chips on the table.

We are all in. But what is not said is that the "river" card has been turned and we lost and all we are doing now is ranting and raving like Phil Hellmuth about how terrible the other players are and how if they had played the "right way" we would be champions. The only question now is when do we cut to a commercial and deal with the reality of Iraq and plan for the next hand.

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  • Display: Sort:
    Obviously we need to call in James Bond. n/t (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by andgarden on Sat Jun 23, 2007 at 10:33:03 AM EST

    Won't Work (none / 0) (#9)
    by squeaky on Sat Jun 23, 2007 at 12:08:21 PM EST
    I heard that he was gay.

    hah. (none / 0) (#10)
    by andgarden on Sat Jun 23, 2007 at 12:16:03 PM EST
    Now, now, (5.00 / 2) (#4)
    by dkmich on Sat Jun 23, 2007 at 11:15:14 AM EST
    "Who could have predicted..." that 120K troops wasn't enough or that 30,000 more troops wouldn't help? Let me see.  My dog, W's Pet Goat, and any ol' average bear.

    It is not news but it is important to (5.00 / 2) (#5)
    by JSN on Sat Jun 23, 2007 at 11:21:22 AM EST
    keep repeating the message (water dripping on a stone approach).

    According to Thomas Ricks in "Fiasco" about 400,000 individual US military personnel had served tours of duty in Iraq and that total may be up to 450,000 now. Their casualties as of today are 3,555 killed, 111 suicides (in Iraq those in US are not counted) and 25,830 wounded (most were able to return to duty). This is a casualty rate of 6.6% and the plan is to keep the blood flowing until after GWB has left office.

    I do not see how this casualty rate can be sustained without a draft which GWB will never ask for.

    I think he has already asked for it (none / 0) (#13)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Jun 23, 2007 at 02:51:43 PM EST
    per current recruiter I talked to last night.  Recruiters are scheduled for draft procedure training now so that if a draft happens they will know how to do it.  This is the DOD preparing for a draft, they didn't get the idea all by themselves.  I think GWB has already asked for it.

    He just hasn't asked the peons for it yet. (none / 0) (#14)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Jun 23, 2007 at 02:52:42 PM EST
    Yes, Rumsfeld (5.00 / 3) (#6)
    by Al on Sat Jun 23, 2007 at 11:21:49 AM EST
    Rumsfeld said that the US could fight several wars like this at the same time, on different fronts.

    The fact that the supposedly most powerful military in the world could have made such a colossal miscalculation, that Iraq would be totally subdued in a few weeks, is almost beyond understanding.

    What terrifies me is that the political system that allowed this to happen is intact. Forty years after Vietnam we have Iraq. Forty years from now, what will our children and grandchildren see?

    We cannot allow this to happen again. We have to tear down the system that takes every generation to war on a global scale. And we have to start now.

    Exactly what I was thinking (none / 0) (#7)
    by Molly Bloom on Sat Jun 23, 2007 at 11:31:10 AM EST
    Its breaking news to Rummy though it shouldn't be.

    OT: read State of Denial. Rummy is McNamara 2.0


    nah (none / 0) (#11)
    by Jen M on Sat Jun 23, 2007 at 12:47:14 PM EST
    Its breaking news to Rummy though it shouldn't be.

    I don't think it is. I don't think it ever was.


    How many does it take (5.00 / 2) (#8)
    by Edger on Sat Jun 23, 2007 at 12:08:09 PM EST
    to leave Iraq?

    It gives you some idea ... (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by chemoelectric on Sat Jun 23, 2007 at 01:52:32 PM EST
    It gives you some idea of how much destruction these people are willing to impose on the nation and individual persons, under current levels of oppositional and investigative pressure. How much worse can they make it if the pressure on them intensifies considerably?

    Consider what Bush supposedly has told some of the people who are of high enough stature that he will deign to talk to them: he says he's making things so that the 'destiny' of the forthcoming biblical book of George cannot be avoided. That means he wishes war and turmoil upon us. Think about that, I mean think very deeply and soberly about it.

    'all in'? (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by Alien Abductee on Sat Jun 23, 2007 at 03:57:51 PM EST
    Not quite yet. All in will be when a "centrist" Dem president afraid of looking "weak" on national security and afraid to "lose" Iraq takes on Bush's goal of victory and institutes a draft...

    This scares me too (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Jun 23, 2007 at 04:37:24 PM EST
    The fact that the Dems won't cut off funding now or September scares me as well though.  From all Army officers that I have asked we are really broken in March....totally manpower bankrupted.  Will they stand up to him then or will he dog them that they funded a War they won't provide manpower for and then we get a draft showdown and can we trust the Democrats?

    The nightmarish thing (5.00 / 1) (#17)
    by Alien Abductee on Sat Jun 23, 2007 at 05:05:07 PM EST
    is that I can't see either of the current Dem front-runners not falling into this. Ending it is only going to get harder.

    Bush is psychopathic enough to push the Army to the edge without being too concerned about the consequences to the soldiers or the country. And Dems are going to feel compelled to carry on the policy, just in a more responsible way.


    hmmmmmmmmmm (none / 0) (#2)
    by cpinva on Sat Jun 23, 2007 at 10:49:16 AM EST
    this is old news. the plan, by the generals, called for something on the order of 500k ground troops, going in. those generals were summarily dismissed, because they thought too much, and were wayyyyyyyyyyyyy too concerned about the troops. mr. rumsfeld saw them as chess pieces, not real human beings.

    i think many reporters for the nyt's also accused these same generals of being right, but really annoying, and using big words.

    a draft would be required, to raise sufficient troops to do the job. that was never going to happen, because it would have brought the iraq invasion/occupation close to home to too many people. instead, we have premeditated disaster.

    This is old news (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Jun 23, 2007 at 10:50:54 AM EST
    You think?

    Too few troops? (none / 0) (#19)
    by womanwarrior on Sat Jun 23, 2007 at 09:04:42 PM EST
    Does anyone else remember that W said he was going to send in 21,500 troops?  H'mm how did it get to 30,000 and nobody noticed?  Will it be 50,000? Will we take everybody out of Korea and the US Mainland?  
    OR just make everybody serve 6 terms in Iraq, each 2 years?  I am tired of seeing our excellent armed forces being turned into ied fodder with morale destroyed.  Let's end this now.  Let's start the impeachment hearings that will bring up enough to get the public behind it.  Nothing else is being accomplished with anything progressive being vetoed.