Friday, February 06, 2015

Let's Not Be So America-Centric

The notion that we need to put 100,000 coalition troops on the ground in Iraq and Syria to defeat ISIL is absurdly wrong and possibly only said to deter any effort to put our troops on the ground to support the Iraqis.

The statement is absurdly wrong because even if the idea that 100,000 troops are needed to defeat ISIL is accurate (and it could be low if you assume 8 million people under ISIL control and if you are looking at protecting the population of the area ISIL controls according to standard metrics of security forces at 2% of the population), why does that have to mean 100,000 American and/or other foreign troops?

Why doesn't that analyst count all the security forces?

The fact is, Iraq already has a lot of troops to reach that goal for at least the Iraq portion of the battlefield.

Mind you, as part of whatever total number of troops is needed to win, we need at least some of them to be a well-trained mobile force to provide the offensive core of that ground force.

We're training 60,000 Iraqis and Kurds in 12 brigades to add to the Iraqi special forces and whatever troops they still have that could carry out that role.

And I would like to see some allies contribute forces--I've mentioned Jordan, in particular, as I did in the link above.

But not all the needed troops need to be of the highest quality when many will just need to defend checkpoints.

Come on, people. Let's be grateful that we built a local ground force that we can support rather than have to put our own troops in as we did when Saddam was the enemy in Iraq .