Saturday, January 06, 2007

Surge to be small - only 9000 troops available

From Think Progress we get the report that military commanders have informed the White House that there are only 7,500 Army troops and 1,500 Marines available with which to "surge" in Iraq.

The purpose of the "surgelet" is to demonstrate that Bush remains firmly fixed on victory in Iraq. The Think Progress article quotes from an earlier Think Progress article that the intention of the surge is more political than military. Think Progress provides a quotation from the Washington Post in support of their earlier article stating that this is more PR than military strategy:
The U.S. military is increasingly resigned to the probability that Bush will deploy a relatively small number of additional troops — between one and five brigades — in part because he has few other dramatic options available to signal U.S. determination in Iraq, officials said. But the Joint Chiefs have not given up making the case that the potential dangers outweigh the benefits for several reasons, officials said.
It looks like this is another effort by Bush and Cheney to substitute public relations for military planning and strategy. The so-called surge is a PR solution looking for a problem it can be shown to solve. There is unlikely to be any problem in Iraq small enough to be noticeably solved with the troops that can be freed to go solve them. Surprise, surprise.

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