Today at a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing, CentCom commander Gen. John Abizaid rejected McCain’s calls for increased U.S. troop levels in Iraq, saying that he “met with every divisional commander, Gen. Casey, the core commander, Gen. Dempsey” and asked them if bringing “in more American troops now, [would] add considerably to our ability to achieve success in Iraq and they all said ‘no.’” Watch it:
McCain has repeatedly said that he would like to see another 20,000 U.S. troops in Iraq. As General Abizaid explained, McCain’s plan runs counter towards our goal in Iraq — specifically, the Iraqis taking responsibility for their own country. Abizaid said, “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.”
Moreover, we do not have the troops to send. Any attempt to send more troops to Iraq would, “at the moment, threaten to break our nation’s all-volunteer Army and undermine our national security.”
MCCAIN: Did you note that General Zinny who opposed of the invasion now thinks that we should have more troops? Did you notice that General Batise, who was opposed to the conduct of this conflict also says that we may need tens and thousands of additional troops. I don’t understand General. When you have a part of Iraq that is not under our control and yet we still — as Al Anbar province is — I don’t know how many American lives have been sacrificed in Al Anbar province — but we still have enough and we will rely on the ability to train the Iraqi military when the Iraqi army hasn’t send the requested number of battalions into Baghdad.
ABIZAID: 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.