One Friedman away from fragging and mutiny
Posted by Charles II on March 1, 2007
An elite team of officers advising the US commander, General David Petraeus, in Baghdad has concluded that they have six months to win the war in Iraq – or face a Vietnam-style collapse in political and public support that could force the military into a hasty retreat…
The main obstacles confronting Gen Petraeus’s team are:
- Insufficient troops on the ground
- A “disintegrating” international coalition
- An anticipated increase in violence in the south as the British leave
- Morale problems as casualties rise
- A failure of political will in Washington and/or Baghdad.
The team is an unusual mix of combat experience and academic achievement. It includes Colonel Peter Mansoor, a former armoured division commander with a PhD in the history of infantry; Colonel HR McMaster, author of a well-known critique of Vietnam and a seasoned counter-insurgency operations chief; Lt-Col David Kilcullen, a seconded Australian officer and expert on Islamism; and Colonel Michael Meese, son of the former US attorney-general Edwin Meese, who was a member of the ill-fated Iraq Study Group…
“Additional troops are essential if we are to win,” said Lt-Col John Nagel, co-author of the [counterinsurgency] manual, in an address at the US Naval Institute in San Diego last month. One soldier for every 50 civilians in the most intense conflict areas [corresponding to about 300,000-500,000 combat troops] was key to successful counter-insurgency work.
Not to worry. No matter that Iraq has gone on longer than WW II without a single discernible victory, no matter that the rest of the world long ago walked away from the mess, the Publicans will blame us, same as for everything else.
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