web counter Media Lies: Continuing the discussion

Thursday, January 13, 2005

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Continuing the discussion

Wretchard has posted even more information about the boots on the ground issue. One thing is clear. It's a complex issue that can't be dissolved to cute sound bites like "we need more troops". Furthermore, looking at the data he has posted, it's not even clear if there can be clarity on the issue. It appears to me it's much more of a judgment call and should rightfully rest in the hands of those who are there. (I seem to recall that's been Rumsfeld's and Bush's take on it as well, so I'm in good company.)

Armchair quarterbacks, basing their "judgments" on old media reporting are clearly ignorant of both the complexity and the lack of clarity of this issue. The more they write about it, the less their "work" should be trusted.

UPDATE: Comments from one of Wretchard's readers are extremely apropos.
All-in-all I think the comparisons of the various occupation force levels, while mathematically interesting, take little of the operational differences of each of the circumstances into account. I won't belabor the point, but insurgency strength and organization, insurgency weaponeering and available re-supply, leadership capability, popular support, terrain, insurgent tactics, and occupier objectives will all drive the force levels and organization. Generally, the better the weaponeering of the enemy, the more difficult the terrain, the more popular support for the insurgency, the better the tactics of the insurgents; the more forces it will take for the liberators/occupiers to be successful. I think the variables are too great to put a marker down as the "correct" number or ratio.
In other words, the variables are too great to apply pre-configured formulas and decisions about force strength are best left to the leaders who are on the ground.

How many times must this be said before the naysayers shut up?