In February, former Army Chief of Staff Eric K. Shinseki testified before Congress that 'several hundred thousand' U.S. soldiers would be needed to keep Iraq subdued after the war. Wolfowitz and other Pentagon hawks mocked the suggestions as being 'wildly off the mark,' and insisted because U.S. troops would be greeted as liberators, not that many troops would be needed inside the country.
Today, experts suggest 100,000 additional troops are needed to really secure the country, on top of the approximate 116,000 currently serving in Iraq. But the White House won't budge. 'It's doable if they're willing to make hard choices. But politically the administration has said there are enough troops. And they're trying to avoid all comparisons to Vietnam,' says Pena. 'But if you ramp up to almost a quarter of a million troops, suddenly Vietnam comparisons become impossible to avoid.'
In the same time, the cost of reconstructing of Iraq has leapt from Wolfowitz's February estimate of US$10 billion to 170 billion. When do these people get held to account?