¿Más tropas a Irak? Tarde.

Esa parece ser la opinión de algunos grupos militares en los Estados Unidos, que hace algún tiempo venían advirtiendo que se necesitaban más tropas para controlar el orden en Baghdad y las afueras. Obviamente el anuncio presidencial de desplegar 20,000 hombres más en la zona no les parece mucho, sobre todo porque ya es tarde.

The limits of what can still be done in Iraq will become even more evident with the surge of 20,000 new troops — a negligible number, say military experts. There are roughly 135,000 troops in Iraq right now, but troop levels have surged up and down throughout the conflict, even as Iraq has continued to drift toward the abyss. John Pike, director of GlobalSecurity.org, the national security Web site, said a 20,000-troop infusion won’t make much difference. “There were 152,000 several weeks ago,” Pike said, explaining that this new surge would only eclipse that number by a few thousand troops. “This is pathetic.”

Army doctrine also considers 20,000 troops paltry. The Army’s new counterinsurgency manual calls for a ratio of one soldier for every 40 or 50 inhabitants for a successful counterinsurgency operation. Baghdad’s population is 6 million. That means it would take a flood of 150,000 troops into Baghdad, not 20,000, to triumph. It remains to be seen if additional Iraqi troops can effectively fill that gap.

Mark Benjamin, “Bush general hypocrisy” (Salon.com)