Chiefs NOT Smoking Joints - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
Chiefs NOT Smoking Joints

Quin, I think you're being too hard on the Joint Chiefs, because if you examine the article closely it seems that their objections are based on the fact that the proposed increase in troop levels would be modest and temporary. In other words, the increase would be large enough to incite our enemies and provide them with more targets, but it wouldn't be big enough or be sustained long enough to get the job done right.

Specifically, the article says:

The service chiefs have warned that a short-term mission could give an enormous edge to virtually all the armed factions in Iraq — including al-Qaeda's foreign fighters, Sunni insurgents and Shiite militias — without giving an enduring boost to the U.S military mission or to the Iraqi army, the officials said.

 The Pentagon has cautioned that a modest surge could lead to more attacks by al-Qaeda, provide more targets for Sunni insurgents and fuel the jihadist appeal for more foreign fighters to flock to Iraq to attack U.S. troops, the officials said.

The informal but well-armed Shiite militias, the Joint Chiefs have also warned, may simply melt back into society during a U.S. surge and wait until the troops are withdrawn — then reemerge and retake the streets of Baghdad and other cities.

I'm a firm believer that if we had gone to Iraq with more troops to begin with, say 500,000, it would have dramatically improved the outcome of the war. We would have done a better job securing the cities and sealing the borders to prevent weapons and insurgents from coming in, and would have been better equipped to confront the insurgency when it was in its infancy. Perhaps most importantly, we would have sent a strong message that we meant business, and thus discouraged opposition. But at this point, with the insurgency fully formed and sectarian violence (or civil war?) raging, I'm not so convinced that a modest increase in troop levels for a limited period of time would make things better, and may even make them worse.    

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