Sunday, December 24, 2006

Merry Christmas, Middle East! More US Troops Headed Your Way?

After weeks of expressing their skepticism at the idea of a troop surge, The New York Times reports that the head honchos on the ground in Iraq, Generals George Casey and Raymond Odierno, now are open to the idea of a troop surge there.

From the Times:
Until recently, the top ground commander in Iraq, Gen. George W. Casey Jr., has argued that sending more American forces into Baghdad and Anbar Province, the two most violent regions of Iraq, would increase the Iraqi dependency on Washington, and in the words of one senior official, “make this feel more like an occupation.”

But General Casey and Lt. Gen. Raymond T. Odierno, who has day-to-day command of American forces in Iraq, indicated they were open to a troop increase when Mr. Gates met with them in Baghdad this week.

“They are open to the possibility of some increase in force,” a senior Defense Department official said. “They are supportive of taking steps to support the Iraqis in their plan, including the possible modest augmentation in U.S. combat forces.”

Why the sudden change of heart?

Could it be the recently announced "retirement" (read "firing") of their boss, General John Abizaid, who has resisted the idea of more troops? The Progressive Daily Beacon discusses this HERE.

With a proposed military buildup in the Persian Gulf poised to threaten Iran, and the White House bandying about the idea of an additional 20,000 troops in Iraq, it looks like Bush is about to pull a Lyndon Johnson on us.

Where are all these troops coming from?

The Selective Service has announced that there is "No Draft on the Horizon". This despite "a flurry of newspaper articles about Selective Service planning to conduct an exercise of its field structure." They are just dusting off the apparatus and kicking the tires to make sure the old jalopy works.

"Move along, folks. Nothing to see here."

The most immediate source of firepower will be non-combat troops from the US military's many bases around the world. Domestic recruiters have also lowered aptitude and mental health requirements and raised age limits in an attempt to meet their targets.

Perhaps the worsening US labor market and fresh layoffs will provide cannonfodder for the war machine...

At any rate, it looks like Peace on Earth will be another illusive dream in the new year.


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