I was wondering when I was going to get to this point. You know the Jerry Maguire point, when you are up at, oh, 3am writing. It's here. I'm officially depressed because of Joe Lieberman. He just put me over the top. What a coward. There is no other word to describe him. Because he spent ten days in Iraq, he now is supporting this crazy notion that we need more troops in Iraq. I have never supported hard timelines in Iraq, I don't even think we should "leave tomorrow," but to increase forces just shows blatant disregard for the troops in harms way.
Where was Joe Lieberman in 1967? He was graduating from law school; he missed that little lesson in life called "Vietnam." You know that place where all those young people got killed. The war that I didn't fully understand until I went to Iraq.
Senator, did you learn anything about counter-insurgency doctrine while you were on your ten day "dog and pony" show in Iraq? Probably not. What is great about the Army is that we have doctrine for everything, and it's not even written for doctoral students. It's written for troops like me. So, Senator, if you pick up FM 3-07.22 you can read about counterinsurgency. It lists five tasks for US forces to accomplish to successfully defeat an insurgency. In fact we don't even have to read past number 1 because our problems start right there.
1) Secure the populace
The math is simple Senator. When I served in Kosovo there were 40,000 NATO troops for 2 million people. Only the 200,000 Serbs needed our protection, so essentially that was one peacekeeper for every five civilians. You can imagine my tank platoon sitting outside a half built church in Koretiste, Kosovo, having a nice little life, because we were at every possible flash point in our sector.
Now, let's compare that to Iraq. Not only is 90% of our active army engaged in nation building, but essentially we have 17 combat brigades in the Sunni Triangle, to the one combat brigade allocated in Kosovo. Being that there are roughly 3,500 soldiers per brigade, we currently have essentially 60,000 combat troops for roughly 14 million civilians in the sector. That is one troop for every 233 civilians. Even add 20-40,000 to that equation, and we're talking about only one troop per 140-175 civilians, assuming all those are involved in security operations, which they surely will not be. Not even close to the one-for-five we had in Kosovo.
So essentially 40,000 more troops is like spitting in the ocean. Make sense Senator Lieberman?
We've never been able to seize and hold terrain in Iraq, which is what we call the "amoeba effect" - insurgents move to where we are not. So, yes, Senator, the escalation you support is not enough to secure the populace. Frankly, the time to secure the country was in 2003, and because of inept leadership, that battle has been lost. We didn't do it then, and in hindsight, without a draft or allies it couldn't have been done. Assuming we had the correct number of troops in Iraq to secure the country - essentially 500,000 - it would take the United States 7-10 years to defeat this insurgency. Our military just isn't big enough to maintain a presence for that period of time. George Bush made the decision to lose this war a long time ago.
Senator, you've got a short memory, to boot. Just four months ago we extended a brigade in Baghdad to "regain control" of the city. Soldiers from Ft. Wainwright had their 12 month tour extended. We were told that by keeping them just a little longer, we could secure Baghdad. Was this successful? Obviously not, since now we need more. How did Mr. Maliki reward us? By making us leave Sadr City, and not deal with Mr. Sadr's Mahdi Army, or should I say Iran's Mahdi Army. Hell, we cannot even engage the enemy that is the greatest threat to security!
If Senator Lieberman helps successfully bring about this escalation, I feel I should take some responsibility for the mess our military will face. VoteVets.org spent almost 3 million dollars this past election cycle. We argued very successfully that no matter how you felt about the war that many incumbents didn't support the troops. Our ads helped defeat Senators Allen, Burns, Talent, and Santorum, and Reps. Melissa Hart, Gil Gutneckt, and John Sweeney.
This past year, we also spent money running radio ads in Connecticut, asking Joe Lieberman why when it came to the war in Iraq; couldn't he ask any of the hard questions? Silly me, I thought maybe we could help jolt Joe Lieberman out of his Kool-Aid-induced position on Iraq. Now I know we should have focused on defeating him.
It's clear now that Senator Lieberman has no interest in doing what's right in Iraq, but would rather continue to provide cover to President Bush. For if he was really interested in doing what's right, he could never support an escalation of the war by 20-40,000 troops.