Given this, we need to face our real choices in Iraq, which are: 10 months or 10 years. Either we just get out of Iraq in a phased withdrawal over 10 months, and try to stabilize it some other way, or we accept the fact that the only way it will not be a failed state is if we start over and rebuild it from the ground up, which would take 10 years. This would require reinvading Iraq, with at least 150,000 more troops, crushing the Sunni and Shiite militias, controlling borders, and building Iraq's institutions and political culture from scratch.At least he's honest, both about what level of commitment victory would take, and about the immorality of continuing to pour lives into the current situation. This proposed strategy leads to the same question I've been asking since McCain started getting attention with his "I've always called for more troops" line of attack. Granted, more troops is the only way to win in Iraq, but it will take a lot more than the 20,000 McCain irresponsibly calls for. 20,000 wont be nearly enough to dramatically affect the dynamic. And, even if we do put a couple hundred thousand more troops into Iraq, we'd need to stay as a force for years. The reconstruction we should have done before will then be possible, and maybe that's enough to foster a stable society.
If we're not ready to do what is necessary to crush the dark forces in Iraq and properly rebuild it, then we need to leave -- because to just keep stumbling along as we have been makes no sense.
The ultimate question for Friedman is, Where do these 150,000 troops come from, given that we would need several hundred-thousand more troops in the army to sustain that deployment oversees? We can't maintain our current deployment indefinitely with current recruitment levels, so these 400,000 new personnel will need to be acquired, not recruited, right Tom? Is there the political will to do that? Absolutely not. Game over.
Here's a video of Friedman advocating his ReInvasion and ReOccupation.