A secret US wargame called "Desert Crossing" produced during the Clinton era showed that an invasion and post-war presence in Iraq would require around 400,000 troops -- about three times the number of troops stationed there now. Even with those resources, according to simulation output, the mission could result in chaos. Snip:
70 military, diplomatic and intelligence participants concluded the high troop levels would be needed to keep order, seal borders and take care of other security needs. The documents came to light Saturday through a Freedom of Information Act request by George Washington University's National Security Archive, an independent research institute and library.Link to AP report.
"The conventional wisdom is the U.S. mistake in Iraq was not enough troops," said Thomas Blanton, the archive's director. "But the Desert Crossing war game in 1999 suggests we would have ended up with a failed state even with 400,000 troops on the ground."
There are about 144,000 U.S. troops in Iraq, down from a peak in January of about 160,000. A week after the invasion, in March 2003, the Pentagon said there were 250,000 U.S. ground force troops inside Iraq, along with 40,000 coalition force troops.
Link to "Post-Saddam Iraq: The War Game," released November 4, 2006 at George Washington University's National Security online document archives.
In related news, Saddam Hussein was today sentenced to death: reg-free Link to NYT article.