Barnett on the troop surge strategy:
In the normal world, those are all considered big signs that one's thinking is sort of screwed up, but Bush, who confuses stubbornness and incuriosity with resoluteness and certitude, chooses his own path. To me, that's a presidency out of control, lost in its own Gap.From What we're creating in Iraq (Thomas P.M. Barnett :: Weblog)
Referenced Wed Jan 31 2007 11:38:14 GMT-0700 (MST)
Later he talks about troop counts and effect:
Will someone please tell me what Dick Cheney knows that the none of the rest seem able to figure out? Because here's the historical record on good and bad peacekeeping jobs by America: Bosnia and Kosovo were good, and featured 22-23 soldiers per thousand population. Somalia and Haiti were bad, and featured 3-4 soldiers per thousand population. Afghanistan sits at 0.5, and Iraq's at 6.1. Even when the Iraqi army is added in, we're at about 14. Experts say 20 is the solid minimum for foreign troops. This surge puts us back up in the 160k range. We hit that peak twice before in 2004 and in 2005. The impact on troops per thousand will be negligible. Bush and Cheney were told all this going in, and decided otherwise. They still decide otherwise. We could have had the troops if we made the deals with others to get them. But Bush and Cheney don't do diplomacy. They don't trade. They don't compromise. They don't talk to enemies. Instead, they consistently put our troops in the worst possible strategic position...
I'm sad about what's been squandered in the management of Iraq. I've lost confidence that anything that happens before Jan 20, 2009 will make any difference.