THE SURGE….From a Washington Post story about the surge:

Pentagon insiders say members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff have long opposed the increase in troops and are only grudgingly going along with the plan because they have been promised that the military escalation will be matched by renewed political and economic efforts in Iraq.

Maybe the Chiefs’ reluctance comes from talking to troops on the ground who are trying to train the Iraqi army:

Five days with American trainers assigned to Muqdadiyah found the Iraqi army there divided, sectarian, underfunded, cold and hungry. It lacks equipment, motivation and a common belief in its mission. The old guard is suspicious of the American Army, which defeated them and now trains them. The young guard is suspicious of the old guard.

….The American trainers said teaching counterinsurgency doctrine had become secondary to more basic pursuits, such as how to load a weapon, take care of equipment and even find basic supplies: food, water and bullets. In U.S commanders’ sparse offices and barracks, piles of books on counterinsurgency tactics sit unused behind desks.

Those “renewed political and economic efforts in Iraq” better be good….