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Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Nicola Calipari's death raises doubts about sufficiency of US military forces in Iraq

The murder of Nicola Calipari, the Italian security officer, sheds light on American military discipline and raises doubts about the adequacy of personnel manning in Iraq.

The Americans announced that they were following procedures. US procedures are very clear.

Small problem, what the Italians said they did matches what the US military directs.

In other words, if the Americans shot at the Italian convoy despite the Italians following the same procedures the US follows, then we have to ask:

  • What other procedures does the US not follow

  • What other procedures does the US impose on other countries that the US is not able to similarly support

    The US troops are unable to effectively deal with personnel following standard procedures. This is a training problem, not something that can be dismissed as "stress".

    "War" is a known variable. Stress is part of what happens.

    If the American are not able to demonstrate that they are following these procedures, then we have a reasonable basis to doubt whether they are adequately protecting their personnel.

    This is not a good sign. It raises questions as to whether the US has the requisite number of troops in place to adequately cover the known requirements.

    We could reasonably expect the problems to increase should there be additional, yet foreseeable problems in the region.

    This is more than a training issue. It is clear that US troops are unable to follow basic procedures related to simple barricades.

    We can only wonder how many other procedures they are not following. The reasons the procedures are there is not to make their job difficult. But to pass on lessons learned.

    However, if America doesn't want to ensure those "lessons learned" are adequately applied during the "post war era in Iraq", then what could we expect to see if combat operations increase?

    Without an increase in personnel and a growing insurgency, we would expect to see the US forces not only face bigger problems, but their effective area of operations will fall.

    That is not a sign of stability, nor is it an indicator of progress. Rather, it is a sign of delusion and denial.

    It is a sign of continued denial about the instability and the inadequate number of troops there to effectively manage the existing threat levels. In the meantime, the insurgency is building.

    Either the Americans are going to lose, or they have to increase the number of troops. Unfortunately, the insurgency is growing faster than the Americans can deploy.

    They've already missed the window of opportunity on getting a draft and manning in place by 2008. If the Americans choose to prevail, the longer they wait to start a draft, the further past 2010 will they find themselves before they have sufficient combat forces in place to contain the situation.

    We would reasonably expect that a leadership which takes action without regard to standards, lessons learned, or the rule of law would similarly expect its citizenry to perform miracles despite inadequate planning, resources, or leadership.

    This is a recipe for failure and no different than what occurred during Vietnam and the Colonial Revolution.

    The recent outrage over the Koran defilement in both Guantanamo and Pakistan will do little to dissuade the Iraqi insurgency. Rather, the challenge for the Americans will be how to exit gracefully without the humiliation of Vietnam.

    On the present course, America has chosen to lose.

    Rome ebbed as shall America. It's leadership can be expected to simply shout louder despite reality.

    The cycle of abuse and arrogance is feeding off itself -- Actions taken without regard to requirements or logic; and plans made without regard to actual resources and capabilities.

    It is unfortunate that the United States, once a great nation, chooses to abuse others abroad and its own citizenry. It is no surprise why the military desertions are rising and there is little sympathy when the government has problems.

    Other info

    Details of the Calipari report