Fred Kagan last December, quoted by Gregory at Belgravia Dispatch.
Conducting Tal Afar-type operations across the entire capital region all at once would require concentrating all available forces in the area and a “surge” of about 80,000 U.S. soldiers–a large number, to be sure, but very far from the “hundreds of thousands” or even “millions” generated by the use of specious historical examples.
Kagen three weeks later.
We need to cut through the confusion. Bringing security to Baghdad–the essential precondition for political compromise, national reconciliation and economic development–is possible only with a surge of at least 30,000 combat troops lasting 18 months or so. Any other option is likely to fail.
80,000? 50,000? 30,000? 20,000? Whatever…