Surging: the Lie Admitted

Those congressmen who accepted the “surge” and the media who supported it were sold a bill of goods. One of the top U.S. commanders in Iraq admits it.

According to the New York Times , Lt. Gen Raymond Odierno, “the day-to-day commander of U.S. forces in Iraq has recommended that the heightened American troop levels there be maintained through February 2008.”

That’s if the “surge” is to have any chance of success: bring material benefits to the people of Baghdad, give them a sense of calm and security, put a damper on the civil war and allow Iraqi political leaders a chance to somehow patch thier country together.

Otherwise, the Times article makes clear, the consensus in the Pentagon is that the buildup will fail. Indeed, the surge to date is “little more than a trickle” and will only reach its goal of an additional 28,000 troops on the ground by June. Yet, under previously-announced plans, troops were supposed to be withdrawing from Iraq already by September 2007.

According to many experts, even maintaining troop levels through next February is far from enough. An unclassified version of the latest National Intelligence Estimate states that “the Iraqi Security Forces, particularly the Iraqi police, will be hard pressed in the next 12 to 18 months to execute significantly increased security responsibilities, and particularly to operate independently against Shia militias with success.”

So—the question which has to be asked—and answered.

1. Are we really to believe that General Odierno and his bosses–General David Petraeus, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and the gang in the White House—that they just discovered that the surge, as sold to congress and the media, would not work? That the build up by a U.S. military already stretched to the breaking point would have to continue many months longer than indicated?


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