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Do We Have Enough Troops in Iraq?

- Abstract

How many American troops should be posted in Iraq, beyond the present spike of 135,000— a number that was itself raised from the informally agreed-upon level of 115,000?

This question of numbers leapt sharply to the fore in April, on account of the sudden toll being taken on American forces confronting insurrections in Falluja and Najaf. But the ferocity of renewed battle was not the only impetus behind the controversy, which indeed had been simmering from the very start of our campaign in Iraq, if not before. There was, for instance, the ongoing debate over Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld’s sweeping reforms of the U.S. military, and their immediate ramifications for peacekeeping operations around the world.

About the Author

Victor Davis Hanson is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution. His “Re-rethinking Iraq: Nothing Succeeds Like Success” appeared in the April COMMENTARY.