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…

18 Responses

  1. The numbers are just a start we also need to relax the ROE so the troops can aggressively pursue the enemy without fear of being singled out and tried when they return home.

  2. Heh. I wouldn’t want to get my nicely-polished boots all icky like that. Sadr is, IMO, a Saddam Junior wannabe from the other side. Keeping him alive is a big mistake.

  3. Ronin, I agree, and apparently so does Petraeus, President Bush, and reluctantly, Maliki.
    It’s stand up time, for a whole bunch of folks.
    For those of us that want victory, adapting to the enemy is a natural progression.

  4. I disagree, I think Mookie is an Ayatollah Khomeini wannabe.

  5. Well, he can try and fancy up his rhetoric with religion but any way you slice it, it comes down to a desire for power and money by taking it from other people instead of building something worthwhile. His kind thrives on chaos and murder.

  6. Well, the ayatollahs have benefited mightily in Iran, just check Rafsanjani’s many bank accounts around the world, especially in Canada, after coming from a long line of marginal pistachio growers.
    I’m sure the Shiia Doughboy, or Al Poppin-fresh, wants power, but he wants to exert it as a fundamentalist ideologue, not as a secular leader like Soddom.

  7. I’m not so sure about the secular leader bit. Saddam had that cult of personality thang goin’ on.

  8. One thing I failed to mention is that several divisions of the Iraqi Army, that will go to Baghdad, are Kurdish. While they are in the IA, they are all Kurds who joined, and have been kept in the Kurdish regions. There were some reports that the Peshmerga would be sent to Baghdad, but that’s not true, it is Kurdish Divisions of the IA. If the Peshmerga went to Baghdad, the mufsidun would either die or run away, as they are some tough hombres, and the typical Iraqi is very afraid of them, even Saddams Army feared them.
    I came across a report from a Turkish paper, and what a different perspective he has.
    US is destabilizing Iraq’s Kurdish north.
    This was the first I’ve heard of the Iranians closing the border with Kurdistan, or of the Iranian airplane being confronted by U.S. forces at the Erbil airport.

  9. Oh come on Swampie, Soddom wasn’t into the whole Sharia law thing.

  10. Speaking of the GWOT.

    SAS hunts fleeing Al-Qaeda Africans.

    File this one under…Sux to be you!

  11. Dang, he isn’t even General Petraeus yet, and already there is some evidence the plan for the surge might be diluted.
    /I miss Rumsfeld

    U.S. diluting Iraq surge, General says.

  12. An interesting post by Omar at Iraq the Model.
    What? Already running away!?

    Insurgents and terrorists are already abandoning some of their positions in Baghdad and moving to Diyala, al-Sabah said:

    In Diyala, politicians, religious and tribal figures demanded that their province be included in the security plan of Baghdad. This came after dozens of foreign Arab militants ran away from Baghdad to areas across Diyala in order to avoid raids by the Iraqi and American forces during the incoming security plan to secure Baghdad.

    Eyewitnesses told al-Sabah that areas such as New Baquba, Gatoon and al-Zour in Miqdadiya have become convenient bases for terrorists and foreign al-Qaeda members from Egypt, Syria, Yemen and Afghanistan.
    This movement of terrorists forced most of the families in these areas to leave either to neighboring countries or to the southern provinces.

    “Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake.” — Napoleon Bonaparte

  13. How very interesting!
    Saudi Arabia Joins Egypt In Supporting Bush Iraq Plan

    Saudi Arabian leaders have told Condoleeza Rice, the US secretary of state, that Arab countries are ready to back the new US strategy to stabilise Iraq.
    Nine Arab countries in support of the Bush Plan are holding a conference in Kuwait this week.

    Go Condi-Go Condi…it’s your birthday…

  14. Thank for making this valuable information available to the public.

  15. […] from this blog since January, in ascending order: 10 Jan 07 Winning Hearts And Minds In Al Anbar. 13 Jan 07 Why 21,500 Additional Troops Is Actually Enough. 17 Mar 07 Iraq:Much Is Happening I’m not clairvoyant, or even a good prognosticator, but a […]

  16. lenad ichnological jesting playmaking scaphocephalous feltlike choleate unemblazoned
    Anger at French poll reform plan

  17. […] wrote about the pending surge back in Jan 2007, Why 21,500 Additional Troops Is Actually Enough (As A Force Multiplier). I believed in the plan and the leadership at the time, and feel my confidence was well […]

  18. […] wrote about the pending surge back in Jan 2007, Why 21,500 Additional Troops Is Actually Enough (As A Force Multiplier). I believed in the plan and the leadership at the time, and feel my confidence was well […]

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