The WashingtonPost has a story on L. Paul Bremer’s new book and how his request for more troops was denied (either explicitly or implicitly). According to the article (I have ordered but not read the book yet), "Bremer recounted how Lt. Gen. Ricardo S. Sanchez, then the top U.S. commander in Iraq, reinforced this view, telling Bremer that with two more divisions, Baghdad could be controlled."
Remote and/or unattended warfare & monitoring is a field that will grow in importance and visibility over the coming years. Its impact on the composition and format of the US military over the next several decades will be substantial. Advances in technology may already be seen in the current UAV Roadmap of 2005 (PDF on GoogleDocs) that will be further strategized and propagated with the upcoming QDR that will be taking its “final shape” next week.
Friction between politicians and the military is age old, but in the United States today it is getting hotter. Back in November there was an interesting exchange between the new Joint Chief Gen Pace and SecDef Rumsfeld. In today’s NYT, the "Marine infantry platoon commander currently assigned as the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff" (General Peter Pace) gave a belated and rather lame explanation of the month old exchange.
It is a curious thing when warfighting becomes easier, it tends to happen more often. Conflicts today are of lower intensity, happen more frequently, and may be called by different names, humanitarian (and "democratic") interventions & "military operations other than war" to name two. The point is using military force to implement policy has noticably incresed.
Long have been the attempts to reduce or delay inhibitors to combat effectiveness. Militaries have sought to extend and prolong combat effectiveness through pharmacology to simple selection processes to wash out those unable to be minimally functional in physically challenging situations, including sleep deprivation and environmental extremes.