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Toys in the attic

January 9, 2007

I’ve taken to posting less, not because there’s less to note or say, but because there’s too much. But frankly, friends – that’s a mighty lily livered excuse, isn’t it?

Let me take a deep breath then, and mention just these few tidbits plucked from today’s stream, if only because I want them handy in this attic when I need them:

  • The midget in the Oval Office has abandoned his promise to “listen to the generals on the ground”, turned his back in contempt on the American people, on the Congress, and on his Daddy’s rescue team the ISG. The Decider has decided that he will now be the hand puppet of the more insane elements of the American Enterprise Institute. It’s therefore useful to have at hand at least the executive summary from the AEI Kagan paper which has outshouted every voice of sanity in the land. Note that the summary doesn’t mention the trivial detail of the numbers Kagan is asking for his “surge” – at least 30K extra offerings to Moloch, for at least 18 months. That number, as Congressional hearings have repeatedly shown, and as the ones to come will show again, is pure fantasy.The AEI in its wisdom is telling the President to win the war with the batallions of soldiers to be found under cabbage leaves. The fairies will be glad to point them out, right there at the bottom of the garden.
  • But suppose the fairies supplied those 30,000 troops. What effect would they have on the outcome of Bush’s War? General Petraeus, just promoted to Casey’s old job, happens to have been in charge of producing the Army’s new Counterinsurgency Manual (pdf). It explains (section 1-67) that successful containment of an insurgency typically requires a ratio of 20 to 25 combat troops to each 1,000 population. Of our 140,000 military in Iraq, 70K are combat, and 70K support. Baghdad’s population is over 5 million. So to actually do the job, by the military’s own standards, will take a shade under 190,000 more troops. For the duration of the conflict.
  • The new Congress is going to be very busy. The House in particular will be doing lots of stuff, real fast. Fortunately, you can keep up to the minute tabs on the docket by checking the Daily Whip Line, courtesy of new Majority Whip James E. Clyburn. Today, f’rinstance, they were passing practically all of the 9/11 Commission’s ignored recommendations.
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