Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Another Observation from My Trip to Tuz

One thing I failed to mention in my post about the trip to Tuz is that there was clearly a difference in the nature of the security on the roads. Prior to the transition, when I traveled, the majority of the security on the road would be Coalition security forces. This time, it was just the reverse, with Iraqi Police and Iraqi National Guard providing the bulk of the patrols on the roads. There was also a greater general "police" presence. The conventional wisdom that the U.S. failed to send enough troops is correct, but not for the reason that most people think. It is not that we needed more troops to handle the uprisings in Fallujah and Najaf. We were able to deploy sufficient forces to those regions very quickly, and we overwhelmed the insurgents in terms of numbers and firepower in those battles, so numbers were simply not an issue there. Rather, the issue in terms of troop total troop deployment was having enough soldiers to provide a police presence after the complete collapse of the Iraqi security forces. The 130,000 troops on the ground simply were not sufficient to provide a police-beat like presence for all of Iraq. While the training process is still underway and much needs to be done to assure the proficiency of the officers, the greater presence is a good sign.

Discussions - 2 Comments

in the interest of strawmen everywhere, i believe that the complaint about the lack of troops was precisely concerning the failure to provide police-like security in the major cities. This allowed the unchecked looting (even of nuclear facilities!) as well as general insurgency.

I have spoken to security specialists, and there is some question as to whether even troops approaching 200,000 could have stopped the looting, which was rampant. That said, while many began with concerns about the looting, I have received the impression that the lines had blurred, and that some had gotten the mistaken impression that the larger military actions were undermanned. This impression was largely fueled by the media’s failure to adequately report the crushing victories achieved by the Coalition in places like Najaf and Sadr City.

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