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Surgers Versus The Surge

By Matthew Yglesias

"Surgers Versus The Surge"

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The Washington Post reports that America’s generals don’t think much of Bush’s plan “to add up to 20,000 troops to the 132,000 U.S. service members already on the ground.” Interestingly, even though they don’t put it that way, even th eauthors of the surge plan think this is a bad idea: “Kagan and Keane both emphasized that the surge has to be both substantial (minimum 30,000 troops) and sustained (minimum 18 months).” A Kagan-Keane sized escalation won’t be mounted because the Joint Chiefs say it’s logistically impossible. But according to Kagan and Keane success requires “a surge of at least 30,000 combat troops lasting 18 months or so. Any other option is likely to fail.”

This is the sort of thing that can make a man shrill; I’m not sure what other indication you need that this cruel farce is being undertaken in bad faith. Or does Bush have some actual reason to believe that the number of additional troops required for the Iraq mission to succeed just so happens to be the exact number of troops who it’s logistically possible to send? That’s be a hell of a coincidence, wouldn’t it?

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