Fri
Jan 5 2007
09:21 pm
By: Andy Axel  shortURL

Reality continues to intrude upon the Bush-McCain-Lieberman "surge & accelerate" roadmap to victory.

You know that "troop surge" of 20,000 that the president is requesting?

Not so much, um... what's the word... possible.

The military maintains that they can only commit to 9,000.

The president is expected to give his speech on a new way forward in Iraq next week. CBS’s David Martin has learned military commanders told the President they could execute a ‘troop surge’ of 9,000 soldiers and Marines into Iraq, with another 10,000 on alert in Kuwait and the U.S. Two army brigades — about 7,500 troops — would go into Baghdad in an effort to control the violence, clearing neighborhoods and staying long enough for reconstruction projects to take effect. 1,500 Marines would go to the western province of al-Anbar, heartland of the Sunni insurgency. This, even though the Commandant of the Marine Corps was quoted as saying he did not see a need for more battalions. But aides say the President still hasn’t decided for sure on a plan.

Gee, that's only a -55% error. (Calculate it yourself.)

The backpedalling is already in progress:

Escalation backers have already begun distancing themselves from this plan. Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) said yesterday that not sending enough troops would be “worse than doing nothing.”

Which is another way of saying "par for the course," isn't it, Senator?

Johnny Ringo's picture

Guess who agrees with you?

Oliver North!

The call for incrementally increasing U.S. troop strength in Iraq -- a "solution" that was first proffered last summer as the congressional election campaign heated up -- sounds eerily like Lyndon Johnson's plan to save Vietnam in the mid 1960s. Johnson saw "gradual escalation" as a way not to lose, and to avoid the unpleasant necessity of directly confronting North Vietnam. Regrettably, that also meant we could not win.

Adding 10,000 or 20,000 more U.S. combat troops -- mostly soldiers and Marines -- isn't going to improve Iraqi willingness to fight their own fight -- an imperative if we are to claim victory in this war. While putting 200,000 American or NATO troops on the Iranian and Syrian borders to stop infiltration might make sense, that's "mission impossible" given the size of U.S. and allied armed forces.

...

A "surge" or "targeted increase in U.S. troop strength" or whatever the politicians want to call dispatching more combat troops to Iraq isn't the answer. Adding more trainers and helping the Iraqis to help themselves, is. Sending more U.S. combat troops is simply sending more targets.

Andy Axel's picture

This is Vietnamization in

This is Vietnamization in modern garb.

As news of this impending plan started to leak around the holidays, I thought, "Hm. Shades of the Christmas Day Bombing."

Adding 10,000 or 20,000 more U.S. combat troops -- mostly soldiers and Marines -- isn't going to improve Iraqi willingness to fight their own fight

After recognizing that the Mahdi have infiltrated the Interior Ministry, I think it's painfully apparent to even the most Bush-happy jackanape on these here intarwebs that "standing up the Iraqis so we can stand down" is a vain hope, if not a farce.

____________________________

Dirty mouth language -- it's the new black.

bizgrrl's picture

Sounds dangerous. What if

Sounds dangerous. What if some other conflict arises? What if we are attacked again on our soil? What exactly are we prepared for?

Les Jones's picture

So, Andy

Are you saying Donald Rumsfeld was right about the number of troops he committed to Iraq?

Disclaimer: I've always been pretty well agnostic on the troops issue. Maybe it would have made things easier at one time by putting down the insurgents, or maybe it would have made things worse by creating more casualties, burnout, and expense.

I suspect, though, that some people (not necessarily you, Andy) who criticized Rumsfeld for not sending enough troops are now going to criticize Bush for ... sending in more troops. It's probably possible to construct an argument that it would have been better then, but worse now, but that argument is likely to be pure sophistry.


Hey, Les, why don't we just call each other assholes and get it over with. - Somebody on the old Southknoxbubba.net (if that was you, claim your quote and win net.fame!)

Andy Axel's picture

Fuck no. And you of all

Fuck no. And you of all people should know better.

The issue is that the president shot off his mouth about committing troops before even figuring out how many troops that he could commit.

It's like "bring 'em on" or "mission accomplished." He's completely out of his depth, and this is just another repetition of the same old.

And when McCain says that "doing nothing would be preferable," that about sums up my feelings about this misadventure starting in 2003. We should never have invaded Iraq in the first place.

____________________________

Dirty mouth language -- it's the new black.

Johnny Ringo's picture

So what then?

Against sending more troops. Against training more Iraqi troops. So - what? Get out now and watch events unfold? You bringing the popcorn?

Andy Axel's picture

Where did I say I was

Where did I say I was against training Iraqi troops?

I did say that training an army loyal to Muqtada al Sadr is an uphill battle. How do you recommend that we train a bunch of militant Shi'a Muslims to be unwavering friendlies to the West? Hm?

Where's your truckload of great ideas? Or are you just going to keep pissing on anything brought up by so-called "partisan Democrats?"

Thought so.

____________________________

Dirty mouth language -- it's the new black.

Johnny Ringo's picture

Where did I say I was

Where did I say I was against training Iraqi troops?

Well...

After recognizing that the Mahdi have infiltrated the Interior Ministry, I think it's painfully apparent to even the most Bush-happy jackanape on these here intarwebs that "standing up the Iraqis so we can stand down" is a vain hope, if not a farce.

If I was mistaken in reading into the above your being against the attempt, then I apologize.

JaHu's picture

I personally don't see how

I personally don't see how training Iraqi troops will ever help the situation in Iraq. Won't the soldiers still be loyal to their own personal factions. I know I'm not one of the brightest fireflies in the field but I can't conceive how it will work?

Adrift in the Sea of Humility

Number9's picture

Johnny Ringo is a welcome

Johnny Ringo is a welcome addition to KnoxViews. Nice to have another perspective. I have enjoyed the lively debate on several threads Mr. Ringo.

Carry on.

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