So much for the Republicans' September deadline

News & Politics
From Jonathan Singer at MyDD:


Congressional Republicans have received fairly strong coverage over indications that their currently unwavering support for President Bush's neverending war in Iraq could wane come September should noticeable improvements not be made. But though it's quite apparent to many in the Netroots that this is merely another stall tactic by Republicans to keep the war going in perpetuity, perhaps nothing can make this fact more clear to the American public than reports today that the administration is intent on sending another 35,000 American troops to Iraq in August.

Ann Scott Tyson has the details on the front page of The Washington Post.
The Pentagon announced yesterday that 35,000 soldiers in 10 Army combat brigades will begin deploying to Iraq in August, making it possible to sustain the increase of U.S. troops there until at least the end of this year.


U.S. commanders in Iraq are increasingly convinced that heightened troop levels, announced by President Bush in January, will need to last into the spring of 2008. The military has said it would assess in September how well its counterinsurgency strategy, intended to pacify Baghdad and other parts of Iraq, is working.


"The surge needs to go through the beginning of next year for sure," said Lt. Gen. Raymond T. Odierno, the day-to-day commander for U.S. military operations in Iraq. The new requirement of up to 15-month tours for active-duty soldiers will allow the troop increase to last until spring, said Odierno, who favors keeping experienced forces in place for now.


"What I am trying to do is to get until April so we can decide whether to keep it going or not," he said in an interview in Baghdad last week. "Are we making progress? If we're not making any progress, we need to change our strategy. If we're making progress, then we need to make a decision on whether we continue to surge." [emphasis added]

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