Last December, the Iraq Study Group reported “sustained increases in U.S. troop levels would not solve the fundamental cause of violence in Iraq.” Bush quickly ditched the report and turned instead to American Enterprise Institute “military analyst” Frederick Kagan. Kagan — who had “the president’s ear” — drafted his own report that prescribed exactly what Bush was looking for: “We must send more American combat forces into Iraq and especially into Baghdad to support this operation.”
Kagan explained that “any other option” besides escalation would fail. The results of escalation:
— Last month “marked the first time that the U.S. military suffered four straight months of 80 or more fatalities” — The deadliest single attack since the war began occurred this month, a suicide truck bombing in Tal Afar that killed 152 people — The deadliest attack yet inside the Green Zone also occurred this month, a suicide bombing in the Iraqi Parliament — Yesterday marked the deadliest day for American ground forces since the war began
Kagan’s escalation plan is bringing to bear a deadlier cycle of violence in Iraq. But wedded to his plan for “success,” he writes that the U.S. is “turning the corner”:
The new effort to establish security in Iraq has begun. At this early stage, the most positive development is a rise in hostility to al-Qaida in the Sunni community. … [O]n balance, there is reason for wary optimism. … The most that can be said now is that we seem to be turning a corner.
The administration and its allies have been quick to hail “turning points” in Iraq. As Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-IL) noted, “When you’ve ‘turned the corner’ in Iraq more times than Danica Patrick at the Indy 500, it means you are going in circles.”