TROOP LEVELS IN IRAQ….Last week, members of the Senate Armed Services Committee decided to bypass the generals and ask a group of battalion commanders directly whether or not we had enough troops in Iraq. Their answer was blunt:

According to two sources with knowledge of the meeting….the commanders said that they not only needed more manpower but also had repeatedly asked for it. Indeed, military sources told Time that as recently as August 2005, a senior military official requested more troops but got turned down flat.

….The battalion commanders, according to sources close to last week’s meeting, said that because there are not enough troops, they have to “leapfrog” around Iraq to keep insurgents from returning to towns that have been cleared out. The officers also stressed that the lack of manpower ? rather than of protective armor or signal jammers ? posed one of the biggest obstacles in dealing with roadside bombs, which have caused the majority of U.S. casualties in Iraq.

Frankly, I’m too lazy to dig up one of the hundreds of statements from Bush/Rumsfeld/Cheney/etc. telling us with a straight face that everyone in the military is happy with the current troop levels and no one has ever asked for more. Can someone else please do it for me?