Two weeks before U.S. midterm elections, American officials unveiled a timeline Tuesday for Iraq's Shiite-led government to take specific steps to calm the world's most dangerous capital and said more U.S. troops might be needed to quell the bloodshed.
Casey said Iraqi forces would be "completely capable" of controlling the country within the next 1 1/2 years.
In related news, the "Early Bird" (something civilians can't access) reported the DoD wrote a letter to the NY Times, demanding a correction of an article which blamed Rumsfeld for inadequate troop levels during the initial invasion and later, and documenting who actually made those decisions.
optional ACE emotive frustration comments in the continuation
It's starting to sound like the Vietnam troop buildups. Victory was always projected to be about 12-18 months in the future back then as well.
I distinctly remember thinking the war would be short-lived after the troop increase following the "Gulf of Tonkin" incident. Since I was in ROTC at the time, with a likely tour ahead of me, I thought it would be good to beef up and kick butt.
At least they're talking about it before the election. Otherwise, they'd be accused of holding off at the expense of the troops for political reasons.
The Democrats don't have a viable solution either. Some of them do understand we can't just "redeploy" our troops elsewhere (aka "cut and run") at this point. It will be interesting to see what they actually do if they gain a majority of either of both houses.
Sorry I'm starting to sound negative, but I don't see an approach which will enable us to "win" as Bush has defined winning (leaving Iraq a viable democracy). Somebody needs to step up with an alternative approach which can show progress. Subdividing Iraq into three countries (one for each of the major segments) is starting to look like the only viable option. (Those who would end up in the wrong "state" could move to the right one for them.)
We have to GET REAL and optimize from our current position. Losing 80-100 troops a month and spending $X million a minute indefinitely is not a viable option. We might be able to afford it, given our strong and growing GDP, but enlistments and re-enlistments are eventually going to suffer.
The US needs to keep at least one base and declare the land it's on US property.
Let's make a note to ourselves right now: NEVER try to occupy a country again. If it's a threat to its neighbors, the region, or the world, cut it down to size (we're good at that!) and warn it we'll be back if it misbehaves again.What it does to its own people (however dispicable it is to us) is its business. The bleeding hearts can form their own militias to go in and deal with that, if they like.
Five more Americans were killed yesterday, bringing this month's total to 96, the highest this year. Less importantly, there's the huge cost. Something has to change!