December 19, 2006
-- by John Emerson
One thing that has to be repeated and repeated, and I think that this is what is motivating the generals: there's no way that a 10% increase in forces, with no significant change in strategy, can change anything militarily. I don't know where the slogan "one last push" came from -- from the media or from the administration -- but the word "last" is a dead giveaway. It cues you to ask "And after that, what?" (To my knowledge, no one in the administration has disavowed the "one last push" meme).
The reason that the increase of forces is so small -- and everyone knows this -- is that we've already committed everything we have. The proposed increases just amount to stretching existing troops farther and pushing them harder, with longer tours and shorter breaks. We have no reserve.
The "surge" is an obvious desperation window-dressing move, and the strategists on the other side have to have figured this out already. That means that if they've got anything up their sleeve (and how could they not?) we'll see it before, during, or immediately after the buildup.
My guess is that either that a.) the Bush people are hunkered down in their bunkers and losing it, b.) they're buying time so that they can properly set up the "stabbed in the back" accusation, or c.) they're so committed to spin, misinformation, and politics over policy that they're doing the only thing that they know how to do.
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Heh. I nearly beat you to posting this -- I was contemplating quoting it as an update to my Unfogged post.
Posted by: LizardBreath at December 19, 2006 9:36 AM
My vote is for option "C."
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