CIVIL STRIFE: Another solid analytical piece in WaPo: Civil Strife Figures in U.S. Thinking.

From the first, the U.S. assault force was designed to be fast and lean — which means it is too small to simultaneously carry out both an invasion and an occupation, dropping off units in each town as it proceeds. And while the outbreak of civil strife is a concern, because of its effect on Iraqi civilians and the image it projects to the rest of the world, officials said they are determined not to allow it to distract the invasion force from its mission.


“Follow-on forces will be arriving to deal with security eventually, but we’re just not going to slow down our combat force,” a Defense Department official said. There has been no indication of when those reinforcements might arrive to begin peacekeeping operations.

“You can’t have it both ways,” said another Pentagon insider. “You have to win the war quickly — and you can’t move fast enough if you are infusing authority along the way.” He echoed the view that the violence might help the U.S. military if it targets the secret police and other elements of the regime that might otherwise be able to fight the invasion.


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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.