ONE LAST PUSH….Guess what? Our commanders on the ground have met with their superiors and decided that we do need more troops in Iraq after all. They’re now backing the “surge” plan:
Commanders have been skeptical of the value of increasing troops, and the decision represents a reversal for Casey, the highest-ranking officer in Iraq. Casey and Gen. John P. Abizaid, the top commander in the Middle East who will step down in March, have long resisted adding troops in Iraq, arguing that it could delay the development of Iraqi security forces and increase anger at the United States in the Arab world.
….Those skeptical about the efficacy of an increase argue that any new troops must be given clear instructions. However, defense officials say the U.S. commanders in Iraq have not settled on what that mission should be, although they are expected to decide before calling up new units.
So we’re not quite sure what we’re going to do with them, but after meeting with the new SecDef we’re suddenly quite sure we need them. Another courageous moment for our military leadership.
Still, honesty compels me to say that I’m glad this is going to happen. I know this makes me a bad person with no concern for human life etc. etc. (feel free to expand on this sentiment in comments), but at some point we have to come to a conclusion on this stuff. Conservatives long ago convinced themselves against all evidence that we could have won in Vietnam if we’d only added more troops or used more napalm or nuked Hanoi or whatever, and they’re going to do the same thing in Iraq unless we allow them to play this out the way they want. If they don’t get to play the game their way, they’ll spend the next couple of decades trying to persuade the American public that there was nothing wrong with the idea of invading Iraq at all. We just never put the necessary resources into it.
Well, screw that. There’s nothing we can do to stop them anyway, so give ’em the resources they want. Let ’em fight the war the way they want. If it works — and after all, stranger things have happened — then I’ll eat some crow. But if it doesn’t, there’s a chance that the country will actually learn something from this.
I wish it were otherwise. But it isn’t.