Friday, December 01, 2006
I got the internet goin' nuts:
Reihan returns to his bread and butter. But why this Fred Kagan "plan" deserves "serious consideration" is completely beyond me -- Kagan, on pains of intellectual honesty, notes that sending everyone to Iraq would
require accelerated training schedules. Two solutions: Send forces that are not as well trained as one would like, or conduct the surge itself in phases, accelerating the deployment of the troops preparing to go in in the spring and sending a follow-on wave behind them.
"Accelerated training schedules" is a euphemism for sending back exhausted troops, and, though he devotes not a word to this, really, really damaged equipment, from tanks to guns to environmental-control units, etc. There's a reason why this consideration is usually rejected out of hand by the Army: it's a recipe for getting people killed for no reason. Kagan would be more honest if he said that the 24,000 troops in Afghanistan should be withdrawn and sent to Iraq; or maybe the guys in Korea should get out and learn to love the desert. We do have combat-ready forces in those places -- but we're up against, and indeed past, the limits of our defense committments. For the uninitiated, this is why people talk about breaking the Army. The military isn't advocating a shift to a training mission for no reason.

Also note that Kagan's piece is written in a political vacuum. His silence implies that all political problems flow from a lack of security, and if we could just magically impose security, Sunni and Shiite and lion and lamb will lay down together in peace and brotherhood. Reihan, this fantastical garbage should be rejected out of hand.
--Spencer Ackerman
Confronted with this sort of talk, people like Kagan usually will start bringing up the whole "we've suffered fewer casualties in three years than one afternoon at Antietam" type of argument. You know then that these folks don't know a damn soul who's on the sharp end, and that deep down these are the type who think that a nation's greatness is measured by its capacity to endure casualties (as long as the dead and maimed aren't anyone THEY know).
Blogger Tequila | 5:38 PM