Saturday, September 26, 2009


New Math? Old realities.

General McClatchey—according to a report I saw—thinks we will need 500,000 soldiers in Afghanistan if we want to thoroughly trounce the troublemakers. Afghanistan has about 36 million people, according to the CIA world fact book.

That means about one soldier for every 750 Afghanis.

At the peak of our intervention in Viet Nam, we had about 500,000 troops there. And the population was, in 1965, say, about 38 million people. Hmm. We couldn't win in Viet Nam with about the same ratio of soldiers per civilians. It's interesting to note that the French General LeClerc, who had commanded the French army of occupation said it would take 500,000 troops to hold the country—"and then it couldn't be done," he's supposed to have said. He was right. Too bad he isn't around to give a commentary on our current mess in Afghanistan. Hey, but we're America! We can do anything because God is on our side! Right? Right? Huh, right, huh? Huh...?

America is a sad shadow of the power that it once was. Yet, somehow, I still think it might be a bad idea to base our military decisions and performance estimates on the French model (no personal disrespect to Philippe LeClerc, of course)...
Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?