More Surge

MORE SURGE….The surge is getting even surgier. This has barely even been reported in U.S. newspapers, but the Pentagon has apparently decided that 21,500 extra troops aren’t enough:

Gordon England, deputy secretary of defence, revealed [on Tuesday] that army commanders were requesting reinforcements beyond the 21,500 personnel already earmarked for the so-called “surge” into the capital.

“At this point, our expectation is the number of … troops could go above 21,500 by about 4,000, maybe as many as 7,000,” the official told the House of Representatives Budget committee in Washington.

An AP dispatch elaborates:

Deputy Secretary of Defense Gordon England told the Senate Budget Committee last week that about 6,000 additional support personnel — such as headquarters staff, military police, and medical personnel — would be needed to complement the 21,500 additional combat troops….The request probably will come to about $2 billion.

Are they seriously trying to pretend that they just forgot they’d need support troops as well as combat troops? Please.

In any case, this is the Democrats’ first chance to oppose the surge in a serious, non-symbolic way: they can refuse to approve the additional $2 billion. Even if the Pentagon goes ahead and reallocates money from some other account to fund the extra troops, this would still be a concrete way to oppose any further escalation. But do they have the spine to do it?