The Murtha Plan

Ari Berman describes a clever effort to thread the escalation-halting needle:

When he receives the Bush Administration’s $100 billion supplemental spending request for Iraq on February 5, Murtha says “they’ll have to justify every cent they want.” He’ll insist that no money be allocated for an escalation unless the military can meet normal readiness levels. “We should not spend money to send people overseas unless they replenish the strategic reserve,” Murtha says. He expects to have one hundred and twenty days to act before the Administration deploys the second phase of additional troops to Iraq. “If he wants to veto the bill,” Murtha says of Bush, “he won’t have any money.”

Seems reasonable to me. The trick, obviously, is that the administration can’t meet those standards of readiness consistent with its escalation plan. David Ignatius says Ragm Emannuel’s on board as well.