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More Troops to Iraq?

That’s the only way Bush can show he’s changing the course in the direction of victory, according to Kagan and Kristol. These authors admit, in effect, that the recent Republican defeat was based on the perception of policy failure, a failure, they contend, that was in process for three years. Because I’m not a "strategery" guy, I welcome your opinions. What would the reaction be, to begin with, if the president were to go on TV to announce this policy change?

Discussions - 16 Comments

Are there any more troops to send? The impression conveyed by the media is that there are not, is that correct?

any comments on the house GOP leadership issue/struggle?

America circa 2006 demands a McDonald’s drive-thru-style effort in war and in nation building. We want it and we want it now! And they aim to get, too. That’s why they elected Democrats.

More troops inevitably means more American casualties and a further erosian of public support for the war. That’s what happened recently when American troops were redeployed to Baghdad in order to restore order. Order was not restored (much) and casualties increased. A troop increase would also be a disincentive for the Iraqi givernment to develop and deploy its own forces. Rumsfeld was probably right about troop levels. There are just no good options. Maybe the least bad is to just try to muddle through more or less as we’re doing.

I have no idea what will now work to secure some sort of decent outcome in Iraq. I do think Kagan and Kristol are too late, politically speaking, with their recommendation. It may be too late for another 50,000 troops to make any difference, but how would any of us know? The best we can hope for right now is to stop things from getting worse. Widening the discussion to include these other countries might contribute to that.

What would the reaction be, to begin with

Well, for openers, the sight of the MSM and DHIMMIcRATs doing the guppy, frozen in shock, unable to stop their faces from swelling in rage-driven redness would make the entire premise worth the price of admission.

How about this? More troops for at least one more year, we’re going to flip Syria right away, we’re going to put drones over the Iran/Iraq border and bomb mercilessly anything that moves weapons and foreign fighters into Iraq, and Muktada Al Sadr is a character in a Susan Sarandon movie, i.e. a walking dead man.

What’s to lose, GWB? Double-down. Split a pair of tens. Go all in on a 2 and a 7.

Stop listening to pussies and read some history about Lincoln and Grant.

There is no substitute for victory.

Yes, I do think more troops would be a good idea, especially in light of the fact that Pelosi just gave Murtha the kiss of approval. To Jim C, even if there isn’t a best way to deal with Iraq (which I don’t believe), it has been pointed out that Americans seem to think we need a policy change, and by adding more troops it will not be hurting anything strategically.

As to the casualty problem, I don’t think it would be that bad. Yes, there will be more, but I don’t think it would be proportional. Where is al-Qaeda going to suddenly get 50,000 terrorists? We’ll be able to send out more patrols to more places than we have been, and though this might mean some more casualties for us remember that our troops are much better trained and equiped than our enemy, so his casualties will increase greatly.

What would be the reaction?

Well from this Republican critic of the Bush Iraq policy I would see it as a positive change. Although there are no good options right now.

Drop in another 50k troops, and as one commenter said, bomb anything that moves.

Tell the Iraqi leadership we are giving you 12 months of cover fire while you get your ducks in a row.

Then come home.

Oh... and let’s drop the entire Bush notion that the Democratization of the middle east is the panacea for all of our national security ills.

yip yip

Since I’m past draft age, I’d see it as a positive sign too. At least it would be the first sign from the administration that the war isn’t being conducted solely on the basis of generating poll numbers.

My own feeling is that this would be the Republican equivilent of throwing money at a problem to solve it (money and human life actually) and that a measured retreat would get us better results, but that’s just a defeatocrat speaking.

Can’t hurt. Might even help. Certainly will please his supporters and show the Dems the lame duck still has some fight in him.

Only if they go to do some serious cleaning up. If they go to just make a bigger show of force ... forget it.

Look, the simple truth is there’s a whole bunch of people over there that have to die before the situation gets any better. Lots. Go into Sadr’s rathole and kill thousands. Mercilessly bomb thousands more along the borders. Any suspected terrorist camps get leveled.

"Collatoral damage?" You bet. Price of war, unfortunately.

Not willing to pay that price? Then don’t bother.

Look, the simple truth is there’s a whole bunch of people over there that have to die before the situation gets any better. Lots. Go into Sadr’s rathole and kill thousands. Mercilessly bomb thousands more along the borders.

Not necessary, really. And. quite possibly, foolhardy for many reasons. We ought to, as the Bush Doctrine suggests, simply settle in for the "long war." Establish our beachheads accordingly, liberate middle eastern nations along the way, little by little, and wear out the welcome these terrorists are afforded over there. In otherwords, work towards the time when Iraqis (for example) effectively handle terrorists with us rather than against us.

The huber-destructive WW II scenario of all out nation-state warfare need not apply to our post-9/11 world. But it may, once again, if America withdraws from the current battle and allows the devil to come back one hundredfold to inhabit the wounded Middle East beast.

Bill Kristol has spent the last 5 years instructing the government on how to conduct the war. Peter Pace has called for his generals to examine their strategy and see what is right and what needs to change. I’ll go along with the folks with the credentials. We are suffering from too many polls, too many news outlets, too few correspondents who get outside the green zone, and too many people who do not do their homework and attempt to get informed.

Publius:

You seem to be forgetting the fundamental axiom of politics, statecraft, etc.; a leader adopts his plans to the character of his people. Americans have never liked long, drawn out wars. Any strategy that is premised on some long drawn out conflict is a loser.

More troops means bringing back the draft. That will go over real big. Say bye-bye to 2008.

The military doesn’t want the draft and neither do the politicians, so there’s not going to be a draft. Stop worrying about it. More troops wouldn’t hurt, and they might help. I think if we put them all into Baghdad it would help, but 50,000 might be wishful thinking. As people have pointed out, democracies don’t like long wars (Athens tore itself apart during the Peloponnesian War) so anything to build public support is a good thing because the war in Iraq is necessarily going to be a long war.

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