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March 12, 2007

The Surge that Keeps on Surging
Posted by Rosa Brooks

The Administration has decided to surge yet again, adding another 4,700 troops on top of the 21,500 already announced in January. (And, lest we forget, we're sending another 3,500 troops to Afghanistan as well, bringing total US troop strength there to "an all-time high.") Needless to say, this escalation (yes, it is an escalation) is a further sign that the situation in Iraq continues to spiral out of control. But you were probably wondering: hey, where are we going to get those extra troops from? Well, it didn't take long for the Administration to stumble upon the obvious answer: raid Walter Reed! According to Salon, troops pronounced "medically unfit" as a result of injuries sustained in Iraq are nonetheless being shipped right back out. We can't have all those lazy fellows lolling around in Building 18 when they could be out there fighting for us!

Okay, okay. They're not actually raiding Walter Reed to get the extra troops. So far, the story's about injured soldiers at Fort Benning. But give the Administration time. Because after all, it's a fiendishly clever way to kill two birds with one stone: get some more troops to Iraq, while teaching the injured not to go whining to the press about the lousy care they're getting....


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Rosa, the current "Surge" to about 157,000 or so troops in Iraq won't even "escalate" to the number of troops we had there in December of 2005 for the nation's elections.

It certainly is an "escalation" over the numbers of troops we had there at this time last year, and certainly an "escalation" in the number of soldiers in the Baghdad AO.

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