But just as we should not overreact to the Devlin report, we should listen to it and heed its advice. I concur with Devlin’s remarks. The trend line for casualties in Iraq has a positive slope line (see Statistical Evaluation of Casualties in Iraq). I have commented here in The Consequences of Inadequate Force Projection that lack of force projection, along with rules of engagement that cause our troops to be hamstrung (with Marines reporting that “A lot of us feel like we have our hands tied behind our back“), are the two most serious impediments to victory in Anbar, and in fact, all of Iraq. With the current force projection and rules of engagement, the U.S. will not win.
As before, I say that the U.S. is getting out, or getting serious. Getting serious requires robust rules of engagement and proper force projection.