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Not Enough Troops

I am going to try to put together a couple of comprehensive reports over the next couple of days on the security situation in Iraq. We are at a point where so much interconnected damning information is coming down the pipes that I, for one, can't keep it all straight. First, we don't have enough troops in Iraq to stabilize the country, and never have. As the BBC reported yesterday, "the head of Central Command, General John Abizaid, said Iraqi troops did not have the training or experience to do the job without extra American help." This has been a constant refrain for 2 years now, from Shinseki to Bremer, on down. We are hampered by the lack of reliable troops.

Second, we have been woefully deficient in responding to the obvious insurgent strategy of targeting nascent Iraqi security forces. The Christian Science Monitor reported General Myers saying "that assassinations and attacks on Iraqi government officials and security forces 'at the municipal level all the way up to the national level... will continue,' as violence escalates with the election's approach," and that "targeted killings of Iraqis who join the new government would continue 'for years to come.'" The Bush/Rumsfeld strategy, to the extent that there is one, is based on replacing American troops with Iraqi troops - yet insurgents have catastrophically disrupted the training processes, and we have not responded at all.

Third, American military readiness is suffering. We don't have enough troops on the ground to achieve any of our strategic goals, there is no relief in sight, and our ability to do anything about it, despite the sound and fury, is waning.


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