Wednesday, December 20, 2006

REALLY Off the Deep End

So George wants to increase the size of the Army and Marines, a position that many Democrats have espoused for years. At the risk of being accused of hypocrisy, the proposal should be bottled up in the new, Democratically-controlled Congress.

If Bush, Rumsefeld, at als. had expanded the ground forces before going into Iraq, or even in the year afterward, as it became clear that the mission (whatever it was) had NOT been accomplished, there would have been some sense to it. But to spend additional billions now, further enabling the administration's disastrous adventure in Mesopotamia, would be foolish.

Don't confuse this nascent proposal to expand the Army and Marines with the proposed "surge" of troops proposed as a desperate, last-ditch attempt to retrieve something from the Iraq fiasco. Given that there is no clear plan--no numbers, no budget--the new troops would not be ready for service until the very end of the Bush administration, if then. Does anyone besides Mr. Bush believe that we'll be in Iraq in significant numbers on January 20, 2009? Or on November 4, 2008 (election day)? If there are, we won't have to hold an election; just give the keys to the White House to the Democratic nominee. These new soldiers and Marines would be useless in our present crisis. Rather than spending billions to raise, train and equip them, we should draw down the forces in Iraq, rest and refit them and commit some of them to the ongoing battle in Afghanistan.

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