Monday, November 10, 2003

How many men does it take to screw in a democracy?

Politics - World - s.f. bayarea forums - craigslist: "How many men would it take to subdue Iraq? < RoughJustice > 11/10 17:08:54

According to the US Army War College, between 4 and 20 per thousand population or 100,000 to half a million in this case. More important, it gets worse as the size of the major cities increases and Baghdad is huge, concentrating about 20% of the entire population. Just dealing with a moderate sized capital city would be daunting. 'Sustaining a stabilizing force at such a force ratio for a city as large as one million (or for a country as small as one million) could require a deployment of about a quarter of all regular infantry battalions in the US Army. With current force sizes this means that within two years, every infantry soldier in the US Army would have been cycled through an operational deployment and many would have started on second deployments to the operational area.

The human consequences are potentially more grave. It is sobering to realize that, at a minimum, any extended commitment to a particular operation could mean many individuals would expect a deployment to that operation every year. It is difficult to predict the full range of effects on family life caused by frequent absences of military family members and their frequent exposure to combat-like conditions. '

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