5,000 vs. 50,000….According to this report, the CIA estimates that there are about 50,000 insurgents in Iraq. But according to this report, General John Abizaid estimates their strength at about 5,000.

That’s a helluva big gap, isn’t it? Even the Team B folks back in the 70s only disagreed with the CIA by a factor of two or so.

The difference in tactics for defeating a guerrilla force of 50,000 is probably quite a bit different from the tactics for defeating 5,000, which means that getting a decent estimate is pretty important. Since Abizaid is the one who has to do the fighting, I sure hope he’s right.