Sunday, January 21, 2007

Surge numbers low; relies heavily on Iraqi security

"When Lt. Gen. David H. Petraeus assumes his duties as the new American commander in Iraq, he will be guided by a new military doctrine on counterinsurgency that makes the security of the population a chief objective.
. . . The additional five combat brigades that would be sent to Baghdad under President Bush’s strategy would roughly double the size of the American force involved in the security operation there, about 15,000 troops. But as a whole, that would still represent only a small portion of the 120,000-strong force that would be required to secure the entire capital according to the force ratios outlined in the military’s new field manual for counterinsurgency, which General Petraeus helped to draft.
Interviews with military officers suggest that the Bush administration can come close to meeting the manual’s guidelines by relying heavily on the efforts of Iraqi security forces and concentrating the effort on key neighborhoods. But this means that the strategy will depend greatly on the performance of Iraqi forces, including police units that have often been criticized as ineffectual or under the influence of Shiite militias."

The New York Times. In Baghdad, Pressing to Meet, With Iraqi Help, Pentagon’s Own Standard for Force Levels. January 19, 2007.

posted: sunday, january 21, 2007, 8:58 AM ET


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