The new plan of attack is a "surge"
Military planners and White House budget analysts have been asked to provide President Bush with options for increasing American forces in Iraq by 20,000 or more. The request indicates that the option of a major “surge” in troop strength is gaining ground as part of a White House strategy review, senior administration officials said Friday.
Discussion of increasing the number of American troops, at least temporarily, has coursed through Washington for two months, as a possible way to reverse the deteriorating security situation in Baghdad. But the decision to ask the Joint Chiefs of Staff to specify where the additional forces could be found among overstretched Army, Marine and National Guard units, and to seek a cost estimate from the White House Office of Management and Budget, signifies a turn in the debate.
Officials said that the options being considered included the deployment of upwards of 50,000 additional troops, but that the political, training and recruiting obstacles to an increase larger than 20,000 to 30,000 troops would be prohibitive.
At present, only about 17,000 American soldiers are actively involved in the effort to secure Baghdad, so even the low end of the proposals being considered by military and budget officials could more than double the size of that force. If adopted, such an increase would be a major departure from the current strategy advocated by Gen. George W. Casey Jr., which has stressed stepping up the training of Iraqi forces and handing off to them as soon as possible. [emphasis mine]
Wow, so much in that little snippet.
Let's start with that "major departure" and compare that to this Bush quote
And I'm going to continue to rely upon those commanders, such as General Casey, who is doing a fabulous job and whose judgment I trust, and that will determine -- his recommendations will determine the number of troops we have on the ground in Iraq.
Please note that link is to the White House and should be authentic. So he'll listen to Casey. Well, not so much.
Then we have this from June 5, 2005
and I doubt the situation has improved.
When summer wildfires burn out of control in the vast forests of the Rocky Mountains, the Montana National Guard has always been available to act as a fire force of last resort, sending its soldiers deep into the wilderness to help fire crews, protect evacuated property, and transport supplies to the front lines.
But as fire season approaches this year, the Montana Guard faces what its commander describes as an ''unprecedented" shortage of firefighters and helicopters, prompting the state's governor, Democrat Brian Schweitzer, to ask the Pentagon to return more of the state's troops from Iraq this summer for what he fears could be a particularly dangerous fire season.
Then there's the fact US can't afford what Afganistan and Iraq are costing already. This headline is from Jan. 26, 2005
. Again, the situation has not improved.
U.S. coffers hemorrhaging from increased war spending
Then there's this little problem
U.S. military troops with severe psychological problems have been sent to Iraq or kept in combat, even when superiors have been aware of signs of mental illness, a newspaper reported for Sunday editions.
The Hartford Courant, citing records obtained under the federal Freedom of Information Act and more than 100 interviews of families and military personnel, reported numerous cases in which the military failed to follow its own regulations in screening, treating and evacuating mentally unfit troops from Iraq.
Then there's this little gem
Field upon field of more than 1,000 battered M1 tanks, howitzers and other armored vehicles sit amid weeds here at the 15,000-acre Anniston Army Depot -- the idle, hulking formations symbolic of an Army that is wearing out faster than it is being rebuilt.
The Army and Marine Corps have sunk more than 40 percent of their ground combat equipment into the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to government data. An estimated $17 billion-plus worth of military equipment is destroyed or worn out each year, blasted by bombs, ground down by desert sand and used up to nine times the rate in times of peace. The gear is piling up at depots such as Anniston, waiting to be repaired.
And, from that same article.
The depletion of major equipment such as tanks, Bradley Fighting Vehicles, and especially helicopters and armored Humvees has left many military units in the United States without adequate training gear, officials say. Partly as a result of the shortages, many U.S. units are rated "unready" to deploy, officials say, raising alarm in Congress and concern among military leaders at a time when Iraq strategy is under review by the White House and the bipartisan Iraq Study Group.
Bush's plan doesn't sound so good if you live in the world of reality now does it? Just asking.
Cross posted at Brilliant at Breakfast