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Generally Generals Are For the Surge?

Generals: More Troops Needed in Iraq

Contact: Julian E. Barnes at
Los Angeles Times
202 W 1st St
Los Angeles, CA 90012

I read this article and found the headline to be quite inappropriate. The lead paragraph states a fact that does not bare out in the article:

"Top U.S. military commanders in Iraq have decided to recommend a "surge" of fresh American combat forces, eliminating one of the last remaining hurdles to proposals being considered by President Bush for a troop increase, a defense official familiar with the plan said Friday."

The article mentions the opposition from the Pentagon and Democrats in Congress but only in reference to how Bush will have to "address concerns" and even says that confronting Al Sadr may be the mission for any "surge" forces. As it turns out there are actually more voices saying that a surge of the size being considered will not work.

The idea of withdrawing troops is not discussed even though it is what a majority of Americans want and what a growing number of our leaders are advocating. Are we not trying to decrease the violence in Iraq, making it more secure not less? How would having American troops battling the Al Sadr Militia in the streets of Baghdad reduce violence?

The headline of this story is inaccurate at best:

"American diplomats are trying to engineer an ouster of Sadr's political faction from the government and are trying to help set up a moderate coalition of Kurds, Sunnis and Shiites that would be more willing to confront Sadr's militias."

"A troop buildup has sparse political support. Key Democratic lawmakers and some Pentagon officials, however, remain skeptical. Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.), incoming chairman of the armed services committee, is among those advocating a timetable for withdrawal - not a buildup of forces."

"Several members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff also have expressed reservations."

"Gen. James T. Conway, the new commandant of the Marine Corps and a member of the Joint Chiefs, emphasized the drawbacks of adding troops in public comments last week."

"Conway suggested that adding troops now would mean the military would be less ready to deploy in the future."

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