Thursday, January 11, 2007

The Numbers Game

Dean Barnett has a breakdown of what the troop surge in Iraq, which President Bush announced last night, really means on the ground, and offers some opinions as to why many of the voices in Congress and punditry are dismissing the efficacy of the change. It is funny to watch so many Senators and Congressmen who, when Bush was sticking with the force numbers already on the ground, were calling for an increase in troop strength, and criticising the President for not boosting the numbers (or pulling out altogether, which is what they really want), but now are singing a different tune and saying that a rise in troop levels won't do any good. Some of them are just going to oppose the President no matter what. It's their stock in trade. As for the rest, Barnett puts it down to ignorance of what the addition of 20,000 troops, all focused on security in Baghdad and training Iraqis, actually means in terms of capability. Ground that has been previously cleared of militias and terrorists, but then ceded back to the enemy, will now be cleared again, but this time held, with the aid of the increased forces. He explains it all pretty well. Have a look.

Hat tip: Instapundit