Tuesday, January 16, 2007


Estimate of the Day

[E]very estimate of what it will take to secure Baghdad alone, let alone the rest of the country, says we need orders of magnitude more troops here. Even the Army's new counterinsurgency manual says that. We would need at least 150,000 to 200,000 troops for Baghdad alone. —Retired Army Captain Phillip Carter in an interview on the NewsHour

I've tried to verify that assertion by doing keyword searches on the counterinsurgency manual but so far no luck. But if it's true, it's a blockbuster news item. (The 282-page PDF is here.)

Bush has just appointed Lt. Gen. David Petraeus as his new commander of all U.S. forces in Iraq. Petraeus will be in charge of the "surge" and is on record as having approved of it.

But media reports of his appointment usually include a description such as "the man who has spent the last year supervising the re-writing of the army’s counterinsurgency manual." It would be remarkable if it turns out that Petraeus is acting against the advice of his own manual!


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