Tuesday, February 5, 2008


I know we’ve seen this before, but President Bush is keeping the troop deployment discussion alive by issuing signing statements that promise to keep us in Iraq long after he’s gone. This 2003 RAND report makes it clear that George Bush should have listened to Gen. Shinsenski instead of following his gut.
Peaceful populations require force ratios of somewhere between one and four police officers per thousand residents. The United States as a whole has about 2.3 sworn police officers per thousand residents.

For cases drastic enough to warrant outside intervention, the required force ratio is much higher. Although numbers alone do not constitute a security strategy, successful strategies for population security and control have required force ratios either as large as or larger than 20 security personnel (troops and police combined) per thousand inhabitants …

… The population of Iraq today is nearly 25 million. That population would require 500,000 foreign troops on the ground to meet a standard of 20 troops per thousand residents. This number is more than three times the number of foreign troops now deployed to Iraq (see figure).
So the experts said we would need about 20 troops per thousand Iraqis during an occupation but we have about 6.5 per thousand. Great. The RAND report also comments on the duration of troop deployments (we’re doing it all wrong), Bosnia and Kosovo operations (we got it right), force rotation requirements for sustainable stabilization (we’re not even close), etc.

No wonder then JCS Shinsenski was dumped. He was telling our Errant Knight of Incompetence “the facts” instead of what he wanted to hear.

- Mark

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