NOPE, NOT LIKE VIETNAM AT ALL….The Pentagon finally admitted the obvious today: troop levels in Iraq will have to stay at their current levels through at least the end of 2005:

The decision acknowledges Iraq is much more unstable and dangerous than U.S. generals had hoped earlier this year, when they planned to cut the number of troops occupying Iraq to about 115,000.

….The troops coming into Iraq will be more heavily armed than the forces they replace, with more tanks, armored personnel carriers and armored Humvees, said Lt. Gen. Norton Schwartz of the Pentagon’s Joint Staff.

“The mission remains essentially the same. It’s security and stability,” Schwartz told reporters at the Pentagon.

Actually, for those who think a military solution is feasible at all ? a proposition I’m increasingly skeptical of ? this still doesn’t come to terms with reality. My guess is that we need about twice as many troops and we need them through the end of 2008 or so, but even now no one is officially ready to admit this.

And hey ? I wonder if they’re planning to consult with the new “sovereign” Iraq about these plans? Just wondering….

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