Monday, October 30, 2006

In his Friday column, Paul Krugman cited a Rand Corp. study that I wrote about on May 11, 2004. I wrote then:
The RAND Corp. conducted a study that attempted to derive what ratio of troops to population made for the most successful country occupations. Apparently, the British have set the standard for how best to occupy another country, and the study found that the optimal ratio was 20 troops per thousand citizens. Given that Iraq's population is approximately 25 million, the current total number of troops occupying the country is short by about 70%! The optimal number would come to half a million troops.

More proof that this administration has carried out this operation on the cheap and in doing so has jeopardized the success of the entire effort, has endangered the lives of all soldiers over there (shorting the presence of soldiers increases the likelihood of violent outbreaks and unrest), and does allow for another valid comparison to Vietnam (where similarly deployment of troops was initially hesitant).
Krugman writes, "we need to get out of Iraq, not because we want to cut and run, but because our continuing presence is doing nothing but wasting American lives. And if we do free up our forces (and those of our British allies), we might still be able to save Afghanistan."

Krugman then goes on to cite the study, written in 1995 by Rand Corp. analyst James T. Quinlivan. Krugman agrees with my math stating that "stabilizing Iraq would require a force of at least 20 troops per 1,000 Iraqis — that is, 500,000 soldiers and marines."

However, he asserts that the "combined strength of the U.S. Army and Marine Corps is less than 700,000," meaning we didn't have the manpower to begin with to properly secure Iraq. Worse yet, Rumsfeld & Co. likely knew this fact and yet chose to gamble human lives on the cheap to achieve their ends. To admit to the need for hundreds of thousands of troops would have made any chance for invading Iraq a non-starter.

Thus, instead do what this administration has been doing since their first day in office: lie, distort, withold the truth -- do whatever it takes to hoodwink Congress and the American public to get what you desire. It's what they do.

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