Withdrawing Troops Has a Price, Absent New Policies

The withdrawal of troops from Iraq comes with a challenge, a challenge Iraq shares with Europe.

It takes three times the number of troops to take territory than it does to hold territory.

It’s as simple as that.

When you add to that the logistics to provide for three times as many troops and several thousand miles of provision tail, it makes sense to have troops and provisions prepositioned.

The alternative is to withdraw and tell everyone that they are on their own.

Taking that position is my desired position, but it does not set well with most Americans. They could not sit idly by and let Europeans be overrun by vicious armies, we have proven that twice.

Iraq is gambling that having spent much treasure and blood that we would not sit idly by and let Iran overwhelm them, and considering our problems with Iran and their nuclear program I suspect the Iraq government is entirely correct. We would rush back with out forces to blunt an Iranian attack.

The Iranians suspect that also, so they will not mount a frontal attack but will use the Sadr Army as a force to totter the current Iraq government, throw the nation into turmoil and make Iraq a seemingly independent, but actual vassal state of Iran.

Our options are limited without trip-wire and reactive forces.

At some point, we must understand that our reach is limited, particularly in the Middle East where there are unseen currents, counter currents and cross-currents we do not understand. Religion and tribes combine and mix ( or don’t) in chemistry that is beyond both Middle Eastern and Western understanding.

When you see the “president” of Afghanistan say that the Afghanis would side with Pakistan, their age-old enemy that currently supports attacks against Afghanistan, if Pakistan is attacked by the US, then you know that it is an area in which we should simply not be participating.

 

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