Kagan and O'Hanlon play General with imaginary troops
Posted by Max Bergmann
Fred Kagan and Michael O'Hanlon are very serious people concerned about Pakistan. And they think we should start thinking seriously about possible military options to prevent a nuclear armed Pakistan from descending "into the abyss." I'm sure we can all agree on that. But they have one minor caveat. Don't take the forces out of an "improving situation in Iraq to cope with a deteriorating one in Pakistan."
So if we don't take our troops out of Iraq, clearly any military option would involve very small special forces units or air strikes. But Kagan and O'Hanlon put forth a very serious magical second option,
A second, broader option would involve supporting the core of the Pakistani armed forces as they sought to hold the country together...this would require a sizeable combat force - not only from the United States, but ideally from other Western powers and moderate Muslim nations.
Yes, of course. Send 100,000s of American troops into Pakistan, but don't take any of these troops out of Iraq. Kagan and O'Hanlon clearly have a hidden stash of U.S. soldiers. Even if you were sending "just" 40,000-50,000, our military could not sustain that operation without taking our troops out of Iraq. But I guess in the land of VSP, no hard choices ever have to be made, and Iraq has done nothing to hurt our ability to respond to national security crises. Sounds a lot like denial doesn't it?