Did you know that there are more police in Manhattan than there are U.S. troops in Afghanistan? Richard Clarke explains:

…, actual military and intelligence assets that were in Afghanistan — looking for al Qaeda, looking for bin Laden — were removed and sent to Iraq. Now, in the last few weeks, they’ve been returned. But that’s two years too late. Two years during which al Qaeda has morphed into a hydra-headed organization with independent organizations and independent cells, and likely the group in Madrid. So we didn’t go after al Qaeda the way that we should have. And we didn’t secure Afghanistan.

We went into Afghanistan in a very slow way after September 11th. A few special forces troops were put up north with the Northern Alliance to fight the Taliban. We did not send people into where we thought bin Laden was for almost two months — during which, of course, he escaped. And then, we only deployed 11,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan.

Now let’s compare that. There are more police in Manhattan — not the city of New York, but just Manhattan — there are more police in Manhattan than the United States put troops into Afghanistan. And yet we were supposed to secure and stabilize the country so that never again would it be a base for terrorism. We were supposed to be draining the swamp.

Well, we haven’t. And one of the reasons we haven’t is that we withheld forces that should have been going into Afghanistan. We withheld them for the war in Iraq.

We did just send 2,000 Marines to Afghanistan, but this may be too little too late. Besides, as Thomas Schaller explains, it seems to be motivated more by poll numbers than by a coherent policy to battle terrorism:

The more he bases his claims for success in fighting terrorism on his handling of Iraq, the more his support diminishes.

PS: Does anyone know how many cops there are in Manhattan? I couldn’t turn anything up on Google…