Why 21,500 Additional Troops Is Actually Enough (As A Force Multiplier)

(Welcome readers from NowPublic.com)

After seeing a number of unscientific polls, scattered across the web, including the home page for my ISP, asking people if they approved or disapproved of the surge of troops, it occured to me that few actually understand what the plan for securing the peace in Iraq is. The 21,500 additional troops isn’t just a random number, and the proposed plan by LTG. Petraeus, doesn’t utilize the troops in the same way. It’s so much more than “stay the course,” and it is quite simple, yet comprehensive.
First, a little foundation to the current plan. There was another study group, which didn’t get any media attention, as it wasn’t intended to be a political cover study, but an actual working group. To some it is known as the Iraq Planning Group at AEI, and is called Choosing Victory:A Plan For Success In Iraq. The authors of this report, are retired General Jack Keane(former vice chief of staff of the Army), and Frederick Kagan of the American Enterprise Institute. In the IPG link above, there is a pdf of the complete report, with maps and statistics, as well as threats and opportunities. This plan was received favorably by the President, prior to Christmas, as was reported by Fred Barnes.
While many of the components of the IPG will seem familiar, since President Bush’s speech Wednesday night, and the following discussion, it is to be noted that this was done prior to LTG. Petraeus being announced as the new U.S. military Commander in Iraq. General Keane and LTG. Petraeus are old friends, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Keane didn’t put in a good word for him. A quick look at LTG. Petraeus, before showing the simple plan he intends to implement.
His official Army biography is here, and as you can see, he is not only a warrior of the highest order, but an intellectual, as well. He has been described as aggressive, arrogant, competitive, and confident. Some have referred to him as many things, most likely out of petty jealousy, and the nickname “King David” seems to have stuck among many, including some of his admirers.
Besides being imminently qualified for the position, perhaps better than anyone known, he is also very tough.
This is a brief record of an incident when Petraeus was shot during a live fire training incident.

A medevac helicopter flew Petraeus, with Keane at his side, to Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, 60 miles away. “It was a Saturday and I was afraid the top guys wouldn’t be on duty. I had them call ahead to make sure their best thoracic surgeon was available,” Keane recalled. “We got off the helicopter and there’s this guy they’d called off the links, still in his golf outfit, pastel colors and everything.” It was Dr. Bill Frist, who a decade later would become majority leader of the U.S. Senate. More than five hours of surgery followed.

“Petraeus recuperated at the Fort Campbell hospital,” Keane continued, “and he was driving the hospital commander crazy, trying to convince the doctors to discharge him. He said, ‘I am not the norm. I’m ready to get out of here and I’m ready to prove it to you.’ He had them pull the tubes out of his arm. Then he hopped out of bed and did 50 push-ups. They let him go home.”

Having written the new manual on counter-insurgency, and having trained Iraqi Army units, after commanding forces in Mosul, after the 2003 invasion, Petraeus is in a unique position to understand the complexities of his new job.
Here are some additional links on LTG. Petraeus, and I will certainly be glad when Congress gives him his fourth star, so I can type Gen. Petraeus.
Now, the simplified version of LTG. Petraeus’ plan is this, from Dean Barrnett.

>Where did the number 21,500 come from?

Out of a hat. Just kidding. But that is where figures like Andrew’s 50,000 came from.

The surge strength number comes from Dave Petraeus’ estimate of what will be necessary to win Baghdad. Petraeus is breaking Baghdad into nine neighborhoods. Each neighborhood will get a contingent of 2500 Iraqi soldiers (probably ones trained by Petraeus) supported by 600 American troops. This number, the plan figures, will be sufficient to clear the neighborhoods and then hold them. In previous encounters, we would clear and retreat. This is a very significant difference. The total surge into Baghdad, counting Iraqi troops, will be well over 40,000.

> What else is new?

The rules of engagement have finally changed. The Shiite militias will be targeted for destruction. This is important. For any government to be legitimate and effective, it has to have a monopoly on the use of violent force. Even though the Maliki government might be philosophically friendly to the Shiite militias, the government would be (and has been) worthless with those militias running around.

It’s estimated that about 4,000 of the additional troops will go to Al Anbar, with additional Iraqi Army units.
We have mentioned much of this here before, the ROE, the clear and hold concept, and with Petraeus’ having lived it, studied it, and written about it, I think it is clear and concise.
How do we get more Americans onboard with this concept of victory? I have no idea, other than continue to present them with facts, and not just emotion, on how important this battle in the GWOT is.
I would like to add, how much I agree with BlackFive.

But, honestly, I’d really like to see King David’s jump boot so far up Sadr’s ass that he can ask “Mookie” if he tastes Kiwi…

Who Dat?

deuce.jpgFinal score, New Orleans 27 Philly 24.

Sweet. Sweet.

Oh Yeah, baby where Yat?

“To oppose everything while proposing nothing is irresponsible”


WASHINGTON (AP) – President Bush on Saturday challenged lawmakers skeptical of his new Iraq plan to propose their own strategy for stopping the violence in Baghdad.

“To oppose everything while proposing nothing is irresponsible,” Bush said.

In a pitch to lawmakers and the American people, Bush said the United States will keep the onus on the Iraqi government to take charge of security and reach a political reconciliation. He countered Democrats and his fellow Republicans who argue that Bush is sending 21,500 more U.S. troops into Iraq on the same mission.

“We have a new strategy with a new mission: Helping secure the population, especially in Baghdad,” Bush said in his weekly radio address. “Our plan puts Iraqis in the lead.”


The thought of victory in Iraq seems to frighten the liberals even more than global warming, if that’s possible.

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2 Chicago Women Accused of Pimping Underage Girls on Craigslist


CHICAGO — Two women used the online classified site Craigslist to offer sex with girls in exchange for “donations” or “roses” — code words for money, police said.

Tamara Cotton, 25, and Christina Holt, 19, were arrested separately and were not working together, Cook County Sheriff’s officials said Thursday.

Cotton was arrested Dec. 31 when an undercover officer arrived at her apartment and a 16-year-old girl offered to perform a sex act for $200, according to the sheriff’s department.

While out on bond, Cotton was arrested again on Jan. 5 when she allegedly drove another girl to meet an undercover officer who had arranged a sexual encounter. Cotton was charged with pimping and related offenses.

Police arrested Holt on Monday and charged her with keeping a house of prostitution for allegedly arranging a sexual encounter with a 14-year-old girl.

The three minors arrested were not taken into custody, sheriff’s spokeswoman Sally Daly said.

“We’ve considered them to be more the victims in this case, given the fact that they were being pimped by adults,” Daly said.


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Saddam and Somalia. Always look on the bright side!



Apartheid Yardbirds and the Saints


I have lunch with a good friend of mine at Alcorn State fairly often. Not long after we met, we discovered that we had quite a bit in common. Not only were we the same age, but we had both grown up in the 1960’s in the river city of Natchez. We both have two kids, and our daughters attend the same college. Plus, we both have a passion for providing opportunities for young people to grow and excel. Having so much in common, you might have thought we probably would have crossed paths so many years ago in Natchez, but that wasn’t the case.

As with many towns across the South, the lines of demarcation between white and black sections of town were very clearly delineated, and there was very little interaction between the two. That began to change in earnest around Christmas 1968 when a Federal judge decided it was time to bring the full weight of the law behind earlier decisions to desegregate Southern schools. The schools remained closed for an extra two weeks during Christmas vacation, and when they re-opened, school districts had been re-drawn, several schools had been re-named, and life as we knew it in Natchez had changed forever.

Not that there’s anything wrong with that. It had to change.

I was thinking about this while the chicken was on the grill — marinated in garlic-pepper sauce — and the aroma was, I’m sure, making the neighbors pretty darnqtime.jpg jealous on this overcast and breezy Sunday afternoon. I would check on the bird, and walk back over to look through the french door and keep an eye on the Saints-Eagles game. Mrs. Nuke was so delighted that I was taking care of the entree that she decided to whip up several side dishes; pear salad, green beans wrapped in bacon, dirty rice, and a big bowl of banana pudding (made with big slices of fresh bananas, vanilla wafers, and a cool whip topping). Dang!

Just as Carney kicked the last-second FG to lift the Saints over the Eagles, I was finishing up my second helpings of dinner, and was just about to dig in to the banana pudding. That was about a half-hour ago, and I’m still so full I could pop. Ahhh, life is good.

Those of us who grew up in The South in the 60’s and earlier know a little bit about apartheid. It wasn’t called apartheid. In fact, the first time I even heard that word was about 20 years ago when it started to become fashionable to punish South Africa for its racial policies by having Western portfolio managers dump investments in companies that did business with South Africa. Apartheid is what they called the official government policy of racial separation. It seemed a lot more harsh and brutal than did the segregationist policies of my youth in Natchez, but frankly, I was on the white side of the dividing line, and I really don’t know what it was like for the blacks.

But what started me thinking about this subject was an article from across the pond about Apartheid in Britain. The editorial writer who is discussing the muslim practice of separating themselves from British society, has decided that this constitutes Apartheid. Sorry, but I’ve got to call BS on this one. It is a mistake to equate the individual right of free association with a government sanctioned separation of races. It ain’t the same thing. And, regardless of how I feel about the voluntary separation that muslims are imposing upon themselves, to call it Apartheid is changing the definition of an evil practice and assigning the same motives to a minority.

I’m not letting the muslims off the hook either. If you folks want to separate yourselves from the mainstream societies of your adoptive countries, then fine, so be it. But don’t come hollering about “discrimination” and “intolerance” when I do the same thing. You see, I’ve got the same rights of free association as you claim for yourselves. Plus, if you intend to live in your adoptive country, then reign in your yob kids, and get on the with business of living your lives in a free and open society.

The editorial writer at The Telegraph was spot-on in this paragraph:

It will take compromises, but it will also take a determined signal about what we as a nation will and will not accept. It will require an understanding about what we mean by mutual respect and tolerance. Essentially, it is straightforward. I respect your religion, you respect mine, and we all respect our laws. That means that we respect the universality of our laws, with no special treatment for any one group.

Yup. It sure does. (Oh, how bout them Saints, heh™)

This article was originally published 10/15/06, and is being republished on the eve of the Saints-Eagles rematch on Saturday night, in the ‘Dome.


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