Pentagon Officials Want More Troops and Money for Iraq

Donald Rumsfeld said our strategy in Iraq isn't working. He's gone, but Stephen Hadley said Sunday Bush will consider his suggestions, as well as those from the Iraq Study Group which are due on Wednesday.

The Wall St. Journal now reports(free link) that many senior Pentagon officials are at the opposite end of the spectrum -- saying more troops and more money is the only way to win in Iraq.

Outside the military, most of the debate is focused on a U.S. troop withdrawal. But inside the Pentagon, the recent dismissal of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has given some new life to arguments by military officers who say the U.S. must pour more troops and money into the country to expand the Iraqi army -- the one institution in Iraq that has shown some promise -- and stabilize the capital.

....Most military officers, however, seem to believe that a pullback of U.S. forces would only trigger more violence and make political compromise in the country impossible. These officers argue that 20,000 U.S. troops are needed to bring order to Baghdad. Another 10,000 U.S. soldiers would also be needed to work as advisers with the Iraqi Army, which currently numbers about 134,000 troops and might need to double in size.

Military officials who advocate such an approach warn that it could take years and hundreds of billions of dollars. But many of these officers bristle at the idea that it is too hard or impossible.

Will Bush listen to them?

Senior military officials seeking to make one last push to stabilize Baghdad might find a receptive ear with President Bush.

The President used a joint appearance last week with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to signal that his administration wasn't planning troop reductions any time soon. Senior White House officials say Mr. Bush is open to the idea of a drive to stabilize the country by temporarily increasing the number of U.S. forces there. These officials say Mr. Bush has paid a political price for the war and now has a brief window of time before the 2008 election cycle intensifies to change conditions on the ground there. The officials say Mr. Rumsfeld's ouster was misinterpreted as a sign that a significant shift is coming.

In related news, it seems the Iraqi death toll has been seriously underestimated.

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  • Display: Sort:
    An army of Kool-Aid (none / 0) (#1)
    by scarshapedstar on Sun Dec 03, 2006 at 11:43:19 PM EST
    We are so screwed.

    Actually, this might be a long shot by the brass at a double-reverse backstab on McCain, for whatever reason. As others have noted, at this point the only sure way to hang an albatross on St. John that's so big, so rotten, that the MSM can't ignore it... is to actually implement his suicidal "strategy" of cramming even more of our boys into the meat grinder.

    Okay, so that's a flight of fancy. Seriously, they're just idiots. I'm sure The Arab Mind says that an army that just won't be defeated will conjure up painful memories of Thermopylae, or something. Even though that was the Persians. All the same, y'know.

    Cake and eat it too (none / 0) (#2)
    by squeaky on Sun Dec 03, 2006 at 11:54:44 PM EST
    Or both add more troops and a withdraw them to the Iranian and Syrian borders.


    Good post... (none / 0) (#3)
    by Edger on Mon Dec 04, 2006 at 06:06:16 AM EST
    ...by tristero, Squeaky.  Everybody should read it.

    Florence Foster Jenkins indeed.

    Bush, Cheney, and Gates are going to do things over the next two years that will make everything they've done in the past six years pale into insignificance in comparison, and look like completely innocent sweetness and light. Like childs play.
    It will be Bush's last desperate bet. His "I'll show'em all" grab for the brass ring to justify everything he's done the past six years. You ain't seen nothing yet.

    It gets worse than that. (none / 0) (#4)
    by Edger on Mon Dec 04, 2006 at 06:33:58 AM EST
    At the sign post up ahead... (none / 0) (#6)
    by Bill Arnett on Mon Dec 04, 2006 at 04:47:32 PM EST
    ...the Twilight Zone.

    I told you so's: (none / 0) (#5)
    by Edger on Mon Dec 04, 2006 at 06:47:55 AM EST
    BarbinMD has a post this morning at Kos titled Democrats Who Opposed The War, quoting from The Washington Post:

    about Democrats who spoke out and voted against giving George W. Bush the authorization to wage war against Iraq.  It is pointed out that, "many of those lawmakers will move into positions of power" when the Democrats take control in January, and the lack of coverage given to those opposing the resolution is noted.
    Rep. John Spratt:

    ...the outcome after the conflict is actually going to be the hardest part, and it is far less certain.

    Rep. Ike Skelton:

    I have no doubt that our military would decisively defeat Iraq's forces and remove Saddam. But like the proverbial dog chasing the car down the road, we must consider what we would do after we caught it.