December 27, 2006
|Call It What It Is: Escalation||Iraq|
Democrats took control of the House and Senate largely because voters want out of Iraq. Even the Iraq Study Group said it's time to start thinking about getting out. So, Bush's response?
Surge. Escalate. Retired Army General Jack Keane and AEI's Fred Kagan, in WaPo:
Reports on the Bush administration's efforts to craft a new strategy in Iraq often use the term "surge" but rarely define it. Estimates of the number of troops to be added in Baghdad range from fewer than 10,000 to more than 30,000. Some "surges" would last a few months, others a few years.
We need to cut through the confusion. Bringing security to Baghdad — the essential precondition for political compromise, national reconciliation and economic development — is possible only with a surge of at least 30,000 combat troops lasting 18 months or so. Any other option is likely to fail.
The key to the success is to change the military mission — instead of preparing for transition to Iraqi control, that mission should be to bring security to the Iraqi population. Surges aimed at accelerating the training of Iraqi forces will fail, because rising sectarian violence will destroy Iraq before the new forces can bring it under control. [...]
Success in Iraq today requires a well-thought-out military operation aimed at bringing security to the people of Baghdad as quickly as possible — a traditional counterinsurgency mission. [Emphasis added]
"Surge" is pure marketing. The proper term is: escalation. And it's going to happen, voters be damned.