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How many men and women in the US Army?

ONE million men and women serve in the United States Army, so why is it proving nearly impossible to keep a mere 150,000 of them in Iraq?

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/01/01/weekinreview/01kaplan.html?hp
Permalink  
January 1st, 2006
You don't expect those 150,000 to work without a break. do you?

Double that number to allow for rotation.

How many troops are needed to support those 150,000 in the field?

What are america's other commitments around the world? Japan, Korea and Europe for example.

The u.s. has already lost a division in Iraq, either dead or injured.

Soon, a million doesn't sound so many.
Permalink ActivelyDisengaged 
January 1st, 2006
Interesting points, some of which are partially addressed in the article.

"Of the Army's one million soldiers, fewer than 400,000 are combat troops (the rest are support personnel). Only about 150,000 of those combat troops are on active duty; the rest are in the National Guard and Reserves."

"Then there is the matter of rotation. Combat units, at least in an all-volunteer force, cannot be deployed for much longer than a year. (To do otherwise would risk exhaustion and demoralization.) Replacements come while the battle-weary go out for rest, retraining and resupply. Therefore, to sustain one active brigade (about 3,500 troops) in a war zone, one or two additional brigades must be ready to replace it."

"That leaves the other option: adding more land forces overall. How many? James Dobbins and James Quinlivan, military analysts at the RAND Corporation, have analyzed historical data on the numbers of foreign troops in various occupations after a war. They found that all the successful missions involved troop levels totaling at least 2 percent of the occupied country's population.

Taking that figure as a rough rule of thumb, securing Iraq, which has 25 million people, would require 500,000 foreign troops. American and coalition forces now total about 180,000.

Gen. Eric Shinseki, the former Army chief of staff, drew on similar historical studies when he told the Senate Armed Services Committee in February 2003, a month before the war started, that "several hundred thousand troops" would be needed to restore order after the fighting (a claim that Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, at the time, vigorously disputed).

A force that large probably could have been mobilized to Iraq for some period, maybe for a year. In 2003-2004, before the insurgency got seriously under way, that may have been enough to impose order. But now, it is generally recognized that it's not possible to send any more troops from the Army as it stands."
Permalink  
January 1st, 2006
If the general population, including shiites, rises up against the u.s. forces it would take 1.5 million troops to retain control of the country.

That's why bush is cutting and running, while making it look like the iraqi's have democracy and the u.s. is not needed anymore.
Permalink ActivelyDisengaged 
January 1st, 2006
Did anyone see the Daily Show episode where John Stewart compared the number in the Chinese army to the number of 'available' troops in the US?

1 million - those serving in Iraq - those in Afghanistan - those needed to do recruiting - those doing admin & other tasks - those who can't fight = 1 man :)
Permalink Colm O'Connor 
January 1st, 2006
Yeah, Shinseki's "retirement" got moved up real fast when he upstaged the administration by publically stating it would take over 300,000 troops on the ground in Iraq. Now, with the crack addicts threatening to invade Iran, a country with more than 3x the number of people in Iraq, there isn't any possible way we could invade Iran, short of nuking the place until it was glass.
Permalink Peter 
January 1st, 2006
"Gentlemen, the missiles are flying. Hallelujah!"
Permalink Philo 
January 1st, 2006

This topic was orginally posted to the off-topic forum of the
Joel on Software discussion board.

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