Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Biden To Hold Hearings Over Troop Surge

At least somebody is trying to provide some supervision here:

Senator Joseph R. Biden Jr. of Delaware, the incoming chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, on Tuesday rejected a troop increase for Iraq, foreshadowing what could be a contentious fight between the Bush administration and Congress.

Mr. Biden, a Democrat, announced that he would begin hearings on Iraq on Jan. 9 and expected high-ranking officials, including Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, to appear. ...

One plan under (White House) consideration is to send an additional 30,000 troops to Iraq in a bid to restore order. "I totally oppose this surging of additional American troops into Baghdad," Mr. Biden said. "It's contrary to the overwhelming body of informed opinion, both inside and outside the administration." ...

He did not say what he would do if the administration went ahead with a temporary increase in American combat forces, and it is unclear whether the Democrats have the power to stop such a move.

The odious Frederick Kagan and Gen. Jack Keane (USA Ret), major architects of the "Surge" idea, weigh in this morning with a Washington Post op-ed that sounds more like a child's list for Santa Claus than a responsible proposal from foreign policy "experts."

From the wish list:

Clearing and holding the Sunni and mixed Sunni-Shiite neighborhoods in the center of Baghdad, which are the keys to getting the overall levels of violence down, will require around nine American combat brigades (27 battalions, in partnership with Iraqi forces, divided among some 23 districts). Since there are about five brigades in Baghdad now, achieving this level would require a surge of at least four additional combat brigades -- some 20,000 combat troops. Moreover, it would be foolhardy to send precisely as many troops as we think we need. Sound planning requires a reserve of at least one brigade (5,000 soldiers) to respond to unexpected developments. The insurgents have bases beyond Baghdad, especially in Anbar province. Securing Baghdad requires addressing these bases -- a task that would necessitate at least two more Marine regiments (around 7,000 Marines).

Anything else you want me to bring you?

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