THE SURGE….According to the New York Times, the U.S. military is working on a “redesign” of the Iraq plan developed several years ago by Gen. George Casey:

The classified plan, which represents the coordinated strategy of the top American commander and the American ambassador, calls for restoring security in local areas, including Baghdad, by the summer of 2008. “Sustainable security” is to be established on a nationwide basis by the summer of 2009, according to American officials familiar with the document.

….The overarching goal, an American official said, is to advance political accommodation and avoid undercutting the authority of the Iraqi prime minister, Nuri Kamal al-Maliki. While the plan seeks to achieve stability, several officials said it anticipates that less will be accomplished in terms of national reconciliation by the end of 2009 than did the plan developed by General Casey.

This isn’t a surprise or anything, but it’s worth pointing out clearly: the new plan, even with the advantage of a troop surge, is less ambitious than the plan we had in 2005. Wait a couple more years and it will be less ambitious still. That’s what we’re fighting for.

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