MORE TROOPS….General John Abizaid insisted to Congress today that we have precisely the right number of troops in Iraq at the moment. Not too many, not too few. Quite a coincidence, no? But then he accidentally told the truth:
Abizaid added that, even if it were in Iraq’s best interest to increase the presence of U.S. forces, it would be difficult for the Pentagon to find additional combat troops without increasing the size of the active-duty military.
Translation: we don’t have 20,000 more troops, Senator McCain, so will you please stop yapping about it?
Also: We need to get the violence under control in ? wait for it ? four to six months, or else it may be impossible to contain. OK then. I guess we’ll just check back in March.
UPDATE: Then again, the Guardian reports this:
President George Bush has told senior advisers that the US and its allies must make “a last big push” to win the war in Iraq and that instead of beginning a troop withdrawal next year, he may increase US forces by up to 20,000 soldiers, according to sources familiar with the administration’s internal deliberations.
….”You’ve got to remember, whatever the Democrats say, it’s Bush still calling the shots. He believes it’s a matter of political will. That’s what [Henry] Kissinger told him. And he’s going to stick with it,” a former senior administration official said. “He [Bush] is in a state of denial about Iraq. Nobody else is any more. But he is. But he knows he’s got less than a year, maybe six months, to make it work. If it fails, I expect the withdrawal process to begin next fall.”
I think we’re going to be hearing a lot more about this “last big push” strategy, so let’s just acronym-ize it right now, shall we? From now on, it’s LBP. Don’t forget.