Lieberman Officially Endores Escalation in Iraq

Last month, Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) said he was “open” to increasing troop levels in Iraq, and a few weeks ago he wondered why Donald Rumsfeld had not included the possibility of escalation in his outgoing memo. Today, Lieberman voiced his strong support for pouring tens of thousands more U.S. troops into Iraq:

President Bush may not be certain he wants more troops in Iraq, but Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman is.

“After speaking with our military commanders on the ground,” he said Wednesday in an e-mail, “I strongly believe that additional U.S. troops must be deployed to Baghdad.”

In the American Prospect yesterday, Larry Korb and Max Bergmann from the Center for American Progress explained why “sinking U.S. forces deeper into Iraq based on a gamble we are sure to lose” is such a bad idea:


– “Ground forces have already been stretched to the breaking point. … Adding 50,000 troops would only exacerbate the situation.”

– “Our increased presence would result in an even greater level of violence, further fueling the insurgency and strengthening the militias.”

– “Additionally, this operation would severely undercut the Maliki government. Sending additional troops would be the equivalent of a no-confidence vote in that government and the Iraqi security forces, and could lead to the government’s collapse.”

The “least bad option” available to Bush is the strategic redeployment of our troops out of Iraq to countries like Afghanistan. “This, combined with regional diplomatic initiatives and an Iraqi peace conference,” they write, “could help stabilize Iraq and the region. More troops will not.”