Bush has reviewed his military options, and after 3 weeks of digging through the dirt, he’s concluded that an additional force of 30,000 US troops in or around Baghdad will help squash the insurgency. They’re calling the temporary deployment a “surge”.
Bush on Wednesday will announce a new war strategy and is expected to call for as many as 20,000 additional troops, according to several senators briefed by the president on Monday.
The extra forces would be sent to Baghdad, which has been consumed by sectarian violence, and the western Anbar Province, a base of the mostly Sunni insurgency and foreign al-Qaida fighters, Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Texas, and others said following the session with Bush.
The Democrats are now lining up against the deployment surge. Surprise, I know. Try to contain yourself. Deep breaths. Focus. OK. The Democrats are resisting the surge.
A day before Bush’s nationally televised speech describing his proposal, Sen. Edward Kennedy, a longtime critic of Bush and the war, will propose legislation denying him the billions needed to send more troops to war unless Congress agrees first. Though it was unclear whether the bill would ever reach the full Senate, it could at least serve as a rallying point for the most insistent foes of the Iraq conflict.
Democrats seem divided on whether to block funds for troop increases, but many were not ruling it out. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D- Nev., said Democrats would “look at everything” in their power to curb the war, short of cutting money for troops already in the field.
Wait a minute. Everyone was making fun of Bush for “Staying the Course”, right? So now Bush says we should change the course by deploying extra troops to attack insurgent strongholds, and now the Democrats are threatening to withhold funding for a troop increase? But they will continue to fund the troops that are already there in Iraq, so long as the only change is that we will eventually remove them? Geez, guys, that sounds a lot like “Stay the course”.
What’s also highlighted here is the absolute lack of a plan for Iraq by the Democrats. They keep saying “Iraq has to stand on its own”. No, really? Guess what– that was Rumsfeld’s plan. And now everyone has rejected Rumsfeld’s plan, so the Democrats are running to embrace it?
I think the troop increase is a good idea. It sounds like US forces are well-trained in the urban support mission and that Iraq troops are well on their way towards autonomy. A 6-month “punish the bad guy” strategy may be just what the doctor ordered.