James’s Musings

thoughts, photography, and geeky stuff
from an unrelentingly curious Silicon Valley entrepreneur

Troop-to-Task Analysis: There Aren’t Enough Jews to Control Everything They Say We Control!

by James G. Beldock on July 26, 2006

Jews con­trol the American econ­o­my. And we con­trol the European Economy. For that mat­ter, we con­trol all the banks in the world. And, the me­dia. (Which makes me won­der: since not all Jews are Liberals, and since the Liberals sup­pos­ed­ly con­trol the me­dia, what do Republican Jews do with their time while the Liberal Jews are busy con­trol­ling the me­dia?)

The ab­sur­di­ti­ty of the­se con­tentions bare­ly mer­its a blog post. But at the risk of link­ing to some peo­ple whose thoughts I don’t think much of, no amount of my scorn will stop the likes of this guy, whom you might oth­er­wise know for writ­ing the film score to Zorba the Greek, from con­tin­u­ing to trum­pet his the­o­ries. Or the­se peo­ple. Or the­se guys at www.nukeisrael.com. (Wow.)

These and oth­er con­tentions weren’t ex­act­ly at the fore­front of my mind this evening as I drove home, but the first of two pieces of the puz­zle did fall in­to place. Terry Gross in­ter­viewed Washington Post re­porter Thomas Ricks on NPR’s Fresh Air to­day about his new book, Fiasco, which de­liv­ers de­tail both the in­tel­li­gence fail­ures lead­ing up to the Iraq War and the fail­ure of our civil­ian mil­i­tary over­sight to ap­prove ap­pro­pri­ate troop lev­els af­ter the ground war had end­ed. Apparently, CENTCOM per­formed re­peat­ed “Troop-to-Task” analy­ses dur­ing the ear­ly days of the post-in­va­sion pe­ri­od, and re­peat­ed­ly reached the con­clu­sion that there were far too few troops on the ground to “win the peace.” This wasn’t news. The Goverment Accounting Office (GAO) had said as much in 2003, ac­cord­ing to Mark Thompson and Michael Duffy’s September 1, 2003 TIME mag­a­zine cov­er sto­ry “Is the Army Stretched Too Thin?”. The con­cept of a “Troop-to-Task” analy­sis has been used to an­a­lyze the ap­pro­pri­ate lev­el of re­sources re­quired for var­i­ous tasks–from re­vi­sion­ist Classical Historians re­think­ing rea­sons for the fall of the Roman Empire (Edward Luttwak quot­ed in Isaiah Wilson III’s Providing for an Uncommon Defense: Attaining a Sustainable U.S. Security Strategy for the 21st Century) to mod­ern mil­i­tary plan­ners. As our on­go­ing fight again­st the in­sur­gen­cy in Iraq proves, those who ig­nore mil­i­tary plan­ners’ Troop-to-Task analy­ses do so at the per­il of their very cred­i­bil­i­ty.

The sec­ond piece of the puz­zle fell in­to place lat­er this evening, when I no­ticed that my friend, col­league, and fel­low Aspen Institute Socrates Society “lif­er,” Pascal Levensohn, had made a re­cent post to his ex­cel­lent blog re­gard­ing the ac­tu­al num­bers of Jews in the world. The num­bers are about as small world­wide as I think I ex­pect­ed (about 13.3m world­wide), but shock­ing­ly low in Spain, where, as Pascal points out, the av­er­age Spaniard will tell you there are be­tween 100k and 1m, but in fact there are a mere 12k. All in all, we still make up just 1.9% of the world’s pop­u­la­tion. (It was 2% when I was grow­ing up. Perhaps they round­ed up?) And fo­cus­ing on the US, where 5.7m Jews live, an amaz­ing 2m live in New York City. Pascal’s num­bers, by the way, come from The Jewish Agency for Israel.

Now for the ques­tion: if we Jews are busy con­trol­ling the econ­o­my of the US, and Europe, and all the banks, and the me­dia, and, and, and…, what does the Troop-to-Task analy­sis say about the­se du­ties? Let’s see: That’s One Jew for every 49 oth­ers world­wide. We’d bet­ter eat our Wheaties! Maybe it’s not just peo­ple. How about dol­lars? The world GDP in 2004 was $41 tril­lion, ac­cord­ing to the World Bank. That means each Jew has to con­trol his $3.1m of an­nu­al GDP. And if 35% of Jews are younger than 18 (just a rough es­ti­mate), then that’s more like $4.5m for each Jewish adult. Every year. So my wife and I con­trol $9m an­nu­al­ly. Somehow. The num­bers don’t work. By the way, glob­al GDP per cap­i­ta is on­ly $9,500, ac­cord­ing to the CIA FactBook. (And by the way, there are about $500 bil­lion in bank­ing as­sets in they Cayman Islands. My “share” of those assets–which I’m sup­posed to be busy controlling–would be about $38,000. I’m way be­hind.) So a Troop-to-Task analy­sis makes the con­tention that the Jews Control the World all the more lu­di­crous.

Now, here’s a guy who claims the Jews con­trol the pornog­ra­phy in­dus­try. That’s a dif­fer­ent sort of Troop-to-Task prob­lem, isn’t it?

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