Saturday, August 18, 2007

Thanks, Oh Wise Old Men of Washington

20 months or so after Iraq Study Group Day, there will be as many troops in Iraq as there were when the report was released.

General Odierno said the five additional brigades added this year under the president’s troop increase were likely to be withdrawn on a timeline parallel to their arrival in Iraq. Under this timeline, which is not yet the official plan, the troop increase would end by April with the five brigades leaving Iraq one each month, with American force levels returning to the troop levels existing before the increase by next August, he said.

Central to the internal debate on a “postsurge” strategy is the extent to which American troops would be able to ask Iraqi forces to take the lead on security missions in critical sections of the country, particularly in Baghdad. Many Democrats in Congress, and even some Republicans, have demanded that Americans hand over more security missions to the Iraqis.

Although no decision has been made about the full extent of the American combat mission next year, administration officials and military officers say the troops in Iraq would shift priorities to training and supporting Iraq forces. They said the large contingent of Special Operations forces now in Iraq would continue missions to capture and kill terrorist and insurgent leaders, and to disrupt their networks.

While Bush has gotten away with many hideous rhetorical games (lies), one of the worst was when he was claiming that troop deployments were going to have to be extended to 15 months because Democrats failed to provide him funding 5 minutes after he asked for it and not simply because it was necessary to maintain the "surge." It was a lie, of course, and one which didn't even make any sense, and the only reason we found that out was because someone in the Pentagon thought it was a wee bit much to stomach.