Surging by Numbers...

George W. Bush's vaunted "surge" will simply return the "Coalition of the Willing" to the number of boots on the ground it had when Saddam was overthrown: 173,000

In fact, right now the Coalition (the U.S. and its few remaining allies) has 155,000 troops in Iraq: 18,000 less than it did in May 2003.

Since the invasion, some 8,000 foreign troops have been withdrawn. Meanwhile American troop levels were reduced by 10,000--despite repeated requests from U.S. commanders and officials in Iraq for additional troop strength.

Now subtract an additional 3,000 British troops that are to be withdrawn over the next few months, and we wind up with (18,000+3,000)=21,000 the exact number of troops that the U.S. is planning to "surge" back in.

Far too little now and three and a half years too late--as some other statistics prove.

According to the U.N., in 2006 alone a total of 34,452 Iraqi civilians have been violently killed and 36,685 wounded. Over the same period, half a million Iraqis have also become refugees.

To grasp what these figures would really mean in the United States...

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