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The Military’s Iraq Gamble

Posted on Dec 13, 2006

The Pentagon is expected to recommend expanding both the military and its presence in Iraq as part of its “double down” strategy. Another element of the plan, to be presented to President Bush on Wednesday, is likely to include a direct confrontation with Moqtada al-Sadr and his militia.

Los Angeles Times:

Such a proposal, military officials and experts caution, would be a gamble. Any chance of success probably would require major changes in the Iraqi government, they said. U.S. Embassy officials would have to help usher into power a new coalition in Baghdad that was willing to confront the militias. And the strategy also would require more U.S. spending to increase the size of the U.S. military and for an Iraqi jobs program.

Defense officials interviewed for this article requested anonymity because the deliberations over the Pentagon’s recommendations were continuing and had not been made public.

“You are dealing with an inherently difficult undertaking,” said Stephen Biddle, a military analyst called to the White House this week to advise Bush. “That doesn’t mean we should withdraw. But no one should go into this thinking if we double the size of the military, the result will be victory. Maybe, but maybe not. You are buying the opportunity to enter a lottery.”

The wild card in the Pentagon planning is Robert M. Gates, due to be sworn in Monday as Defense secretary. Gates had breakfast Tuesday with Bush and will participate, along with outgoing Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, in today’s meetings.

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By TJ, December 14, 2006 at 4:20 pm Link to this comment
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My three daughters will be leaving home over the course of the next 6 years, with the first leaving in 2.  This has caused me to focus on the lessons I need to teach them to survive on their own.  One of the most important is ‘don’t bet on filling an inside straight’. 

I am now learning that I need to modify that lesson to - ‘if you do try to go against the odds to fill that inside straight, bet with other people’s money’.  This appears to be the lesson that George Bush and his cadre of generals learned in the elite schools of their upbringing; a lesson that is conveniently complementary to the one that most Americans learn in their public schools which is ‘follow the leader’.

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By yours truly, December 14, 2006 at 11:33 am Link to this comment
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No matter these Pentagon proposals, we have only two options, stay the course or TROOPS OUT NOW. Which way will it go?  That’s up to us.

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By chuck, December 14, 2006 at 10:12 am Link to this comment
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“Double Down”/“Move Forward” are all terms of aggression. It means more troops & equipmemt for Iraq. I voted Democratic to STOP this aggression. W, the warmonger king, wants it his way only, since he can’t ever be wrong. We have an inept Executive Branch of Gov’t… & it seems like they can’t be stopped.

Why aren’t more people in Congress upset about this “ramp up” in troops, equipment & MONIES….& BLOODSHED & stopping it?

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By DennisD, December 14, 2006 at 9:32 am Link to this comment
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Great! Blackjack meets the Pentagon. The “Double down” strategy. What’s next comps to the buffet and two for one tickets to a show. Brilliant! our new war strategy comes from a “fact finding tour to Las Vegas”.
Unfortunately we have a Congress and Senate that is nothing more than co-conspirators to go along with these military clowns.
Cut off the money supply and this nightmare ends.
Way too simple for these learned minds to comprehend.
Countless committees, panels and just plain common sense etc. has determined that is debacle is not going to end well regardless of when or how its done. There will be no congratulations afterward and plenty of blame to go around. And it will go around and around but never seem to land anywhere. Will anyone be surprised?

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By GDAEman, December 13, 2006 at 6:49 pm Link to this comment
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The article ends suggesting that if the US pulls out of Iraq, and there is a blood bath, it will be on America’s hands.

No. It will be on the hands of Bush and his war-of-agression conspirators.

During the Nuremberg trials, the chief American prosecutor, Robert H. Jackson, stated:

“To initiate a war of aggression, therefore, is not only an international crime; it is the supreme international crime differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole.”

Read More, See Link to de la Vega proposed indictment:

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