Is 12-1 A Sufficient Number Or Should It Be 100-1?

There are currently about 100,000 US and NATO troops in Afghanistan plus the presence of about 200,000 Afghan soldiers which establishes a ratio of about 12-1 versus the Taliban. General McChrystal is now seeking an additional 40,000 troops which would raise the ratio to about 18-1. Professor Andrew Bacevich of Boston University who earlier in life led a platoon in Vietnam, argues, “the insurgents are conducting the war in ways that do not play to (allied) strengths.” He adds, “it is impossible to regain the initiative by introducing more foreign forces, which will only breed more resentment and more recruits for the enemy.” The professor is simply stating what anyone who has studied counter-insurgency knows. It is up to the people of the besieged nation to develop a sense they want to deal with insurgents and unless that spirit is present, the conflict will go on and on.

There are about 25,000 Taliban insurgents in Afghanistan. However, they are not a monolithic body led by a central leadership. They belong to clans and tribal groups as well as fall under direct command of Taliban leaders. General McChrstal must focus on training an Afghan army. He needs to concentrate his forces on training and equipping a new generation of Afghan officers and leaders. Of course, he cannot accomplish that goal if the nation is led by corrupt, inept leaders. THAT IS THE PROBLEM AND 40,000 MORE TROOPS WILL NOT SOLVE IT.