Iraq Solution = A Lot More Troops, A Lot More Diplomacy

Okay, so the long-awaited Baker/Hamilton report is out. Hands up who thinks Bush will listen to their suggestions. And what are those suggestions? Basically, more diplomacy and less troops (via phased withdrawal). Personally, I would back more troops if it meant a LOT more troops, like twice as many as we have there now. Anything less is unlikely to work. Of course, some people say we haven't got that many troops to send (we could get them if we re-instated the draft, but that would take time and man would it get Gen Next off its butt and into the streets).

I'm with Colin Powell and former U.S. army chief of staff Gen Eric Shinseki (and others) in thinking that you would need something like 500,000 boots on the ground to stabilize a country the size of Iraq (I am also mindful that we couldn't stabilize Vietnam with that number). And for Iraq that 500,000 number is probably good for a time before people living in Iraq suffered a couple of years of daily double digit body counts to make them really unhappy about American presence in the region.

And sending any more troops without a serious new diplomatic effort to engage Iran and Syria in meaningful talks, well that would be a complete waste.

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