April 30, 2006

The Troop Fairy

I was looking over this article where Colin Powell knocked Secretary Rice off message by publicly airing his doubts that there were enough troops for Iraqi operations. In the same article is Paul Bremer quoted as saying that we should have had 500,000 troops in Iraq. From what I can tell, there really aren't any more troops to be had in today's military (the same was just as true on the eve of Afghanistan and Iraq).

500,000 troops on the ground means 1.5M troops in the rotation to sustain that troop level for as long as is needed. We don't have a 1.5M army. We have a 500,000 person army and some of it has to stay in Korea to be a tripwire. Some of it needed to be in Afghanistan. There are other commitments that could not be stripped bare.

As far as I can tell, to say that we needed 1.5M in troop rotation and 500k on the ground is a fancy way of saying that we have to go to selective service and reinstate the draft. There is no troop fairy and we're not going to triple the Army in size as a volunteer force. Even we can't afford that. Yet the more troops dissenters never seem to get called on this. It's like the media can't do basic mathematics or haven't taken the couple of hours in research time to do the math on troop logistics.

I really do wish that we'd have that debate, that the press would get up and do their jobs asking these "more troops" advocates how, exactly, the US was going to come up with those troops. Does more troops mean Saddam Hussein's still in power? Does more troops mean there's a draft? What, exactly, were they advocating? What were the consequences?

Posted by TMLutas at April 30, 2006 05:36 PM