Friday, November 09, 2007

Too Many or Too Few?

One voice, backed by fascinating historical anecdote, sounding against the hurricane of "not enough troops" criticisms of the U.S. efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan.

We cannot roll back time. But when operating in fragile societies to combat foreign or domestic extremist minorities, we can try to keep our footprint smaller.

I've always tended to think this sort of thing is correct. But to express it more clearly, there's a kind of warfare you only can win with a whole lot of manpower and firepower. And there's a kind of strategy you can pursue by keeping your touch as light, deft, and intimate as possible. And too often we're trying to fight one strategy with the other tactic, or trying to run down the middle when it's an either-or choice.