Monday, April 30, 2007

Knollenberg Never Lets Facts Get In His Way

Joe Knollenberg doesn't let facts get in the way of his decision making.

He has given his full support to Bush's escalation of the war in Iraq. He says we have to give the new "strategy" time to work.

But, the expert of all experts -- General David Petraeus already predicts that the surge will fail to quell the violence in Iraq.

Petraeus spent the last 1 1/2 years rewriting the military manual on counterinsurgency. Field Manual 3-24 was co-written by Petraeus and published last December. In an article last month on the manual, Airforce magazine notes:

It usually takes a while for a government to realize that an insurgency is under way, Petraeus and Amos wrote. The insurgents “take advantage of that
time to build strength and gather support.” When the fight erupts, defenders “have to ‘come from behind'" and catch up to the situation.
In short, counterinsurgencies don’t go too well at first. Western militaries “falsely believe that armies trained to win large conventional wars are automatically prepared to win small, unconventional ones” and fight COIN with a similar mind-set.

But here is the real money quote from the manual:

During previous conflicts, planners assumed that combatants required a 10 or 15 to 1 advantage over insurgents to win. However, no predetermined, fixed ratio of friendly troops to enemy combatants ensures success in COIN. The conditions of the operational environment and the approaches insurgents use vary too widely.

A better force requirement gauge is troop density, the ratio of security forces (including the host nation’s military and police forces as well as foreign counterinsurgents) to inhabitants. Most density recommendations fall within a range of 20 to 25 counterinsurgents for every 1000 residents in an AO. Twenty counterinsurgents per 1000 residents is often considered the minimum troop density required for effective COIN operations

Petraeus says there should be 20 to 25 combat troops for every 1000 residents. According to the CIA Factbook, Iraq has a population of 27,499,638. That means, according to Petraeus, there should be 549,993 - 687,491 combat troops in Iraq. Even with the surge, the troop level will be somewhere around 150,000. That is just a little over 25% of the troops needed.

Heck, Bush didn't even give Petraeus enough troops to secure Baghdad!

How can Bush say he supports the troops when he won't train or equip them properly?

How can Bush say he supports the General when he won't give him the troops he needs to get the job done?

Apparently Knollenberg is unfamiliar with Petraeus's work as a General -- Knollenberg certainly hasn't said the number of troops in the surge isn't enough to succeed.

Joe Knollenberg. Uninformed. Out of Touch.

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