Thursday, August 21, 2003

What's the solution? Order more Poles.
But the diplomatic maneuvering today suggested that some officials in the administration, particularly in the State Department, believe that the bombing demonstrates that military reinforcements are needed. There are now 139,000 American troops in Iraq and 21,700 troops from other countries, half from Britain.

Some experts say it is unrealistic to think that Iraq can be secured with troops at the current level. A debate over this subject flared in May, when Gen. Eric K. Shinseki, then the Army chief of staff, said hundreds of thousands would be needed to secure Iraq after the war.

James F. Dobbins, an expert in peacekeeping operations who was the Bush administration's special envoy to Afghanistan, said in an interview today that the United States might need 300,000 to 500,000 troops to maintain stability in the country.

"Whatever the right number is, it's significantly larger than what we have," said Mr. Dobbins, director of international security and defense policy at the Rand Corporation. "But, let's face it, we're going to be driven by what can be deployed rather than what the situation calls for."
When US Congressman Charles Rangel tried to broach the subject last winter of reintroducing the military draft in the United States, he didn't get far, but this possibility just can't go away so long as the US is committed to empire.

Just as the French had hundreds of thousands of soldiers from West Africa, the West Indies and Indochina fighting for it in Flanders during World War One, so, too, does the US have Poles, Danes, Bulgarians and Hondurans serving in Iraq today. But how many colonial subjects can the Bush administration really force to the front of this war?

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