As NPR reported yesterday, the only way to "increase" troops in Baghdad, is to keep troops there. We don't have any reserves of troops fresh from basic training waiting to become car-bomb fodder (I'm sorry, but let's be blunt: WWII with John Wayne in the streets of some bombed out European city, this isn't).
It has been noted even by government officials that 20,000 troops would not be a surge, but a "bump." There are about 3500 troops in a brigade, and about 40 brigades in Iraq right now. So 20,000 is only 5-6 more brigades, anyway. Couple that with the fact that these brigades won't be fresh, but rather worn-out, battle weary troops....and you have a recipe for utter disaster.
If left blogistan can do anything, surely we can point that out?
Meanwhile, even Lt. Gen. Raymond Odierno (2nd in command in Iraq) is emphasizing "a combination of jobs, provincial elections, anti-militia legislation and stronger Iraqi security forces could stop the nation's plunge toward all-out civil war," not just more bodies with guns and helmets (which are worth what against car bombs? Again, I have to ask: what do we accomplish by putting more people in a country which clearly doesn't want us there?) This is the same plan his predecessor in Iraq, Lt. Gen. Peter Chiarelli, espoused. Plus çe la change....
So, if I could affect left blogistan at all, this is what I would ask it to do. I'm sympathetic to the troubles of spocko, not terribly interested in who's won the coveted "Wanker of the Day" award (but hey, nobody's interested in my blog, so it's no slam), and don't really care what outrageous nonsense arch-conservative bloggers have come up with in today's blogophilia mud-pie tossing contest. But so long as we are proclaiming our Amazing Power To Reshape The World (or at least get Time Magazine to prove it's "Person of the Year" award is a complete embarassment) in the victory of 11/7, maybe we could try, this time, to really affect the debate on an important national issue?
It might even be worth a Koufax nomination to somebody.*
UPDATE: Holden confirms what I'm saying:
Top U.S. military officials, expecting President Bush to order an increase in the size of the force in Iraq, have concluded that such a buildup would require them to reverse Pentagon policy and send the Army's National Guard and reserve units on lengthy second tours in Iraq, defense officials said Monday.
Under Pentagon policy, Guard and reserve units have been limited to 24 months of mobilization for the Iraq war. Under that rule, most reserve units already sent to Iraq are ineligible to return.
But the Joint Chiefs of Staff have concluded that a significant buildup would require the Pentagon to overturn the policy and send Guard and reserve units for additional yearlong tours.
*no, not me. I'm truly not interested this year.