In this video, taken on Saturday, September 26th, '09, Senator Chris Dodd makes sense on the situation in Afghanistan. It starts with Nutmegger John Kantrowitz, from My Left Nutmeg and the Conn-Post Blogs, discussing the shades of Vietnam parallels. But there is an 800 pound guerrilla that too many ignore that I try to point out at the end of the video:
Just so you understand what I am talking about at the end of the video, General Petraeus re-wrote the doctrine for dealing with counterinsurgencies:
The first chapter of Petraeus's manual calls for a "force ratio" of 25 counterinsurgents (here meaning US, allied, and Iraqi soldiers and police) per 1,000 residents. In Baghdad that would require a total force of 120,000. But even with the additional 17,500 US troops President Bush has called for, and a reallocation of Iraqi troops from the North to Baghdad, the total force will be approximately 80,000, a full third less than what the manual prescribes.
I was shooting from the hip and based on my faulty memory, but the numbers I was talking about were sufficiently close to make the point. Thinking in terms of the situation in Afghanistan a quick look at the math tells you what you need to know.
The population of Afghanistan is 28,150,000 according to wikipedia - And the math based on 25 soldiers per thousand residents?
By Genral Petraeus' own standard that is how many soldiers would be needed to effectively stabelize Afghanistan.