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    19 December 2006

    Bush Flip-Flop (# too many)

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    Bush, June 2005: Some Americans ask me, if completing the mission is so important, why don't you send more troops? If our commanders on the ground say we need more troops, I will send them. But our commanders tell me they have the number of troops they need to do their job. Sending more Americans would undermine our strategy of encouraging Iraqis to take the lead in this fight. And sending more Americans would suggest that we intend to stay forever, when we are, in fact, working for the day when Iraq can defend itself and we can leave. As we determine the right force level, our troops can know that I will continue to be guided by the advice that matters: the sober judgment of our military leaders.

    The American Enterprise Institutes New Way Forward: We must send more American combat forces into Iraq and especially into Baghdad to support this operation. A surge of seven Army brigades and Marine regiments to support clear-and-hold operations starting in the spring of 2007 is necessary, possible, and will be sufficient.

    General Schoomaker in Congressional testimony: General Schoomaker called for the forces to be expanded by 7,000 a year for the foreseeable future. At current levels, the Army was "incapable of generating and sustaining the required forces to wage the global war on terror", he said

    Gen Schoomaker said the army had been "flat-footed" when it embarked on the Iraq war in 2003 with a force barely a third the size of the 500,000-strong army that drove Saddam Hussein from Kuwait in 1991.

    Lawrence J. Korb (assistant secretary of defense for manpower, installations and logistics; Reagan administration) and Peter Ogden: But even at existing deployment levels, the signs of strain on the active Army are evident. In July an official report revealed that two-thirds of the active U.S. Army was classified as "not ready for combat." When one combines this news with the fact that roughly one-third of the active Army is deployed (and thus presumably ready for combat), the math is simple but the answer alarming: The active Army has close to zero combat-ready brigades in reserve.

    Colin Powell: Before any decision to increase troops, "I'd want to have a clear understanding of what it is they're going for, how long they're going for. And let's be clear about something else. . . . There really are no additional troops. All we would be doing is keeping some of the troops who were there, there longer and escalating or accelerating the arrival of other troops."

    "That's how you surge. And that surge cannot be sustained." The "active Army is about broken," Powell said. Even beyond Iraq, the Army and Marines have to "grow in size, in my military judgment," and Congress must provide significant additional funding to sustain them.

    General Abizaid (talking to Sen McCain): Senator McCain, I met with every divisional commander, General Casey, the core commander, General Dempsey, we all talked together. And I said, in your professional opinion, if we were to bring in more American Troops now, does it add considerably to our ability to achieve success in Iraq? And they all said no. And the reason is because we want the Iraqis to do more. It is easy for the Iraqis to rely upon to us do this work. I believe that more American forces prevent the Iraqis from doing more, from taking more responsibility for their own future.

    So here's the basics. The "sober judgment of our military leaders" concludes that we don't have additional troops ready to fight the war on terrorism or in Iraq. Additionally, they don't want more troops in Iraq or Baghdad because they want the Iraqis to stand up. However, the American Enterprise Institute has decided to request more troops for Baghdad. Despite the overwhelming failure of neoconservative ideology, some have reported that the President is actually considering this 'plan'. Therefore, the New Way Forward is actually just a continuation of the policy of denial and failure.

    What think-tank was responsible for sending our family and friends into Iraq in the first place??? Let's ask them what to do...

    Here's the future, Bush follows the AEI 'plan' and let's assume the situation in Iraq in a few months to a years time deteriorates further -- or doesn't improve. At which point the calls for a change increase again and public outrage at the war and the performance of the Bush administration wrt Iraq sours -- or remains the same. I can hear it now: "a return to pre-surge levels is something we can't do. It would show weakness to the enemy and/or be an admission of defeat."

    Posted by Geoff

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