“ONE LAST PUSH” UPDATE….More troops to Iraq? That’s what the LA Times reports:
The size of the troop increase the Pentagon will recommend is unclear. One officer suggested an increase of about 40,000 forces would be required, but other officials said such a number was unrealistic.
….The problem with any sort of surge is that it would require an eventual drop-off in 2008, unless the president was willing to take the politically unpopular move of remobilizing the National Guard and sending reserve combat units back to Iraq.
According to the Washington Post, that’s exactly what the military brass is planning to ask for:
The Army will press hard for “full access” to the 346,000-strong Army National Guard and the 196,000-strong Army Reserves by asking [incoming Defense Secretary Robert Gates] to take the politically sensitive step of easing the Pentagon restrictions on the frequency and duration of involuntary call-ups for reservists, according to two senior Army officials.
George Bush has always said that he gives his generals everything they ask for. At the same time, he’s shown himself consistently unwilling to expand the military in any way that would be truly unpopular. It looks like that particular rubber is about to hit the road.