Sunday, January 07, 2007

When is a surge not a surge? 
From the Boston Herald:

The balance of deployment and recovery is already tenuous. That's why President Bush agreed in December to enlarge the Army and Marine Corps. If the American Enterprise Institute's recommendations become reality, the balance will tip, readiness will spiral downward, and the cost and time to reset units will spiral upward. In exchange for one last rush at the objective, this proposal risks our ability to fight the long war necessary for success in the region. The report suffers from the same casual dismissal of undesirable outcomes that characterized post-combat, reconstruction planning in Iraq.

Notably, the report comes from Washington-based military observers, not from the generals in Iraq who are charged with strategy. Those commanders have overlapped units to increase troops before; during Iraqi elections in 2005 and this past fall in Baghdad. They also have 15 US brigades in Iraq, only five of which are in Baghdad. If the commanders thought that three or four extra US brigades in Baghdad would turn the tide, they could have arranged that. The fact is that the generals in charge of Iraq, George Casey and John Abizaid, have said they do not want more US troops. They want more Iraqi troops, and they know the Army and Marines cannot sustain 30,000 additional troops in Iraq.

Read the whole thing.

Splash, out


(Thanks to a reader for the tip.)

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