Friday, September 7, 2007


This from the New York Times website:

"Seeing Iraq Gains as Fragile, Petraeus Is Wary of Cuts" WASHINGTON, Sept. 6 — Gen. David H. Petraeus, the top American commander in Iraq, has told President Bush that he wants to maintain heightened troop levels in Iraq well into next year to reduce the risk of military setbacks, but could accept the pullback of roughly 4,000 troops beginning in January, in part to assuage critics in Congress, according to senior administration and military officials.

General Petraeus helped to "sell" the idea of a surge in January, 2007. General Shinseki called for 500,000 troops in 2003.

One would feel a little more inclined to trust General Petraeus if his position on Shinseki's call for a large troop contingent, which he felt would be necessary for a successful "occupation," were made clear. After all, the situation in Iraq would be vastly different if we'd sent an appropriate number of troops there in the first place. If the generals feel we need more troops in 2007, we certainly needed them there in 2003.

And what's with the "assuage?" If enemies need to be engaged by armies, then the armies need to be sufficient to defeat the enemies.

Make the case; don't go in looking to assuage.

Trust, but verify.

n.b. Why didn't the entire general staff of the Pentagon resign in protest when their military judgement was overridden by Wolfowitz and Rumsfeld in 2003?

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