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Wednesday, December 20, 2006

THE URGE TO SURGE

The Iraq Study Group concluded that we must change course in Iraq. The new direction may be to achieve "victory", or may be just to extricate ourselves from the mess we created.

The problem is that there is no clear or easy solution. Apparently, the Bush administration is looking toward a temporary troop increase deployed in Baghdad, a "surge", to qualify as the new course called for by the ISG. The idea is to clamp down on the sectarian violence in Baghdad and to continue pressing the Maliki government to get its act together and to continue or increase the training of the Iraqi army and police.

But lessened violence in Baghdad may well mean more in other parts of Iraq. And what is temporary? The temporary increases in deployment of advisors and troops in Vietnam turned out to be somewhat permanent. And how can we justify more American deaths and injuries for 3 months, 6 months, or whatever, on a cause dependent on the coalescing of the tribes and sects in Iraq.

Better that we deploy troops and train and reconstruct in Afghanistan, a country in danger of control by the Taliban because of our neglect while invading and occupying Iraq. The "surge" money and troops would have more effect there.

So, we should forget an Iraq surge and work on a political solution, if any, and press forward on complete withdrawal. And I have to note that "surge" so easily evokes purge, splurge, scourge, and dirge.

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