Thursday, January 18, 2007

Just Wondering...

by Ken Houghton

This is still officially a "coalition of the willing," and the total number of troops in Iraq is still the summation of each individual country's troops.

Now, normally, this wouldn't matter. The 132K from the U.S. against, say, those 7K from Italy, one almost might as well treat it as if no one else existed.

But this case is special. Because (X + 21,500).NE.(X + 21,500 - OtherCountryWithdrawals) unless OtherCountryWithdrawals = 0. [edited for clarity]

Memory serving, for instance, those 7,000 Italians either left or are supposed to leave at the beginning of this year. And Poland, too, was pulling out. Not to mention rumors of U.K. scalebacks.

Will the addition of 21,500 scraggly, undertrained, undereducated troops even make up for the known, scheduled withdrawals this year?

UPDATE: Tom, in comments, notes that the last sentence could be misinterpreted.

To be clear, I have no objection to the undereducated or the undertrained joining the milla tree (all right, "scraggly" is probably hyperbole), no matter how much extra equipment they tend to use. There is a long and honorable tradition of legitimately working class people serving the country and subsequently having advantages that enable them (assuming they are not one of the 20,000+ so far) to get a leg up, in the form of education (GI Bill) and health care (VA) benefits, as well as a clear acknowledgement of their capability to perform to order in adverse conditions.

But since only this source indicates otherwise, I have to assume that the new recruits will be those who were marginal under the old rules.
I think you mean ">" in the first inequality, and maybe should add an equality after the second term "= Net Coalition Troop Strength."

P.S., are you trying to get us in trouble for not supporting the troops with that last sentence?!!one?
To be clear, I have no objection to the undereducated or the undertrained joining the milla tree

Tom's right. You blew it here.
Put the blame where it lies. Some of these kids are hoping to get away from the scraggly, undereducated and undertrained, so they're working it.

To be clear, I have no objection to you working your job to pay for your 2 daughters and your wife's back. No objections to you sitting back analyzing the fitness of0 soldiers and blogging it. See, it smells kinda arrogant when I put it like that, eh? Those "under" kids might just pull your wife or daughters out of a care wreck here at home some day, once they're done serving. Think through who you're insulting and what it says about you?

Tom tried to help, but you blew it again.
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