Friday, March 24, 2006

Serious Bracing from Hanson

He's up and at 'em again.

He makes a lot of good points about the numbers of troops in Iraq at any given time, but that is not the point. We needed a bigger Army for two reasons: 1. So that we can get a better rotation of troops, especially reservists, out of the war zone, and 2. So that we can deal with places outside of Iraq.

Rumsfeld's problem is that he had a plan for reorganizing and streamlining the military along technological lines before Sept 11, and while there are many merits to the reorganization, he has not adjusted the plan at all since the war on terror started. It's been short-sighted from day one, and it has made it impossible for us to deal with other destabilizing crises or regimes, like Darfur or Syria.

One other note: the difficulty in the American military adjusting to the reconstruction and counterinsurgency in Iraq in part stems from the assumption that the international community would play some role in rebuilding the country. That was why Tommy Franks recommended that President Bush declare an end to major military operations--he had assurances that such an announcement would signal the major European powers that it was time to come in. Who would have imagined that the UN would be so depraved that it would give almost no help to a vulnerable country like post-Saddam Iraq just to spite the United States and the Bush administration? If the U.S. and its allies succeed in Iraq, what does that say about the efficacy and importance of international organizations?

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