Herschel Smith takes a depressing look at our military preparedness ahead of the surge:

A number of problems have plagued OIF: the naive trust in the healing powers of democracy, the unreadiness of the new Iraqi armed forces to take over security of Iraq without the necessary training and equipment, COIN doctrine that took its cue from forty year old counterinsurgency strategy flowing from Vietnam rather than looking to the holy war that the jihadists are fighting, and other problems too numerous to mention. This naivety created the milieu for the deployment of a force that was too small to bring security to a country the size of Iraq, and equipped for a conflict that would not last as long as this one has.

The problems run from the preparations for OIF to the present, where senior officers find it implausible that the available equipment will match the needs of U.S. troops in the coming months. It is one thing to support a surge of troops, and quite another to have the national discipline to prepare for it ten years ago.

Discipline and seriousness are exactly what we need from out political class at this moment. However, we seem to be moving in the opposite direction.



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