More Troops?

News reports, presumably generated from within the administration, suggest that President George W. Bush’s “new direction” in Iraq will be more of the same. An increase, or “surge,” in the number of U.S. troops appears to be in the works. President Bush’s refusal to admit error or failure will now lead to more error and more failure.

The ostensible reason for sending more troops is to control the sectarian violence engulfing Baghdad. Except for the most fervid advocates of this war, few observers think that additional troops will either increase the safety of Americans already there or provide the basis for long-term stability. The errors made by this administration in going to war and in conducting this war cannot be undone, and much that is now happening is simply out of our control.

It has been a sobering few months, with high numbers of U.S. casualties, the grim assessment of the bipartisan Iraq Study Group, the dramatic speech of Gordon Smith (R-Ore.) on the Senate floor suggesting that our current military strategy “may even be criminal,” and finally the hurried execution of Saddam Hussein. A recent survey of the uniformed armed services revealed that, like the nation as a whole, a majority of the military now disapproves of Bush’s handling of the war and opposes sending more troops. Congressional Democratic opposition to the surge is also widespread. Yet it appears that the president has, as...

To read the rest of this article please login or become a subscriber.