For example this Connecticut post editorial ignores the facts.
Gen. John P. Abizaid, the U.S. commander in the Middle East, warned against any radical change, telling the committee that any decrease would lead to increased violence and instability and an increase would impose too great a strain on U.S. force levels. Sen. John McCain thinks the immediate situation calls for more troops, not fewer.I've already discussed the problems with McCain's unrealistic suggestion of adding more troops. It just can't be done:
Even The Military Question The GOP's Failed Tactics
As a recent New York Times article "portrays Iraq as edging toward chaos," members of the military are begining to question the refusal of the Bush administration to redeploy the soldiers from Iraq:The Iraqi government's refusal to take certain measures to reduce sectarian tensions between Sunni Arabs and the nation's Shiite Muslim majority has led these officers to conclude that Iraqis will not make difficult decisions unless they are pushed.A WaPo article shows one of the many reasons the soldiers' frustrations are becoming evident:
Therefore, they say, the advantages of deadlines may outweigh the drawbacks.
"Deadlines could help ensure that the Iraqi leaders recognize the imperative of coming to grips with the tough decisions they've got to make for there to be progress in the political arena," said a senior Army officer who has served in Iraq.
Former Pentagon official Kurt Campbell said more officers are calling for deadlines after concluding that the indefinite presence of U.S. forces enables the Shiite-run Iraqi government to avoid making compromises."How can we expect ordinary Iraqis to trust the police when we don't even trust them not to kill our own men?" asked Capt. Alexander Shaw, head of the police transition team of the 372nd Military Police Battalion, a Washington-based unit charged with overseeing training of all Iraqi police in western Baghdad. "To be perfectly honest, I'm not sure we're ever going to have police here that are free of the militia influence."
The top U.S. military commander in Iraq, Gen. George W. Casey Jr., predicted last week that Iraqi security forces would be able to take control of the country in 12 to 18 months. But several days spent with American units training the Iraqi police illustrated why those soldiers on the ground believe it may take decades longer than Casey's assessment.
Seventy percent of the Iraqi police force has been infiltrated by militias,
The soldiers keep getting told that as the Iraqis stand up, the American military will stand down. But this is a failing policy. The soldiers on the ground know that it will be decades before Iraqis will be able to protect themselves. Something that Bush administration has shown no signs of understanding. As long as we are there the Iraqis have no incentive to stand up and, to make matters worse, we are further aggravating the situations between the different groups fighting for control within Iraq. And in doing that we are forcing our soldiers to work alongside many Iraqis that are part of the problem.American soldiers said that although they gather evidence of police ties to the militias and present it to Iraqi officials, no one has ever been criminally charged or even lost their jobs.
The soldiers are doing the best they can in a worst case scenario, but the reality is that the Iraqi government is just as effective as the Bush administration has repeatedly shown itself to be when it is faced with complicated problems.
They do nothing.
Some of the idiots in the right-wing-cheerleader-camp of the GOP are echoing a simplistic answer that is too little, too late, when they advocate that we should just send more troops to quell the CHAOS in Iraq but where are these soldiers going to come from anyways?
- The Army has "close to zero combat-ready brigades in reserve"
- The National Guard is "in an even more dire situation than the active Army."
- 63 percent of all Iraq and Afghanistan veterans believe the Army and Marine Corps are overextended.
The military is already stretched to near its breaking point and the Bush administration offers no real answers to this problem. Donald Rumsfeld has repeatedly stated his desire to reshape the military, but there are serious limitations to military preparedness that cannot be overcome without the needed manpower:The U.S. military suffers from a glaring manpower deficiency. The ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have demonstrated that in operations such as counterinsurgency, counterterrorism, stabilization, and peacekeeping, even the United States' impressive technology cannot substitute for soldiers.
The Bush administration, however, does not share this assessment, as evidenced by its handling of the invasion of Iraq. Before the war, Rumsfeld was dismissive, even contemptuous, of warnings from senior U.S. military officials, such as former Army Chief of Staff General Eric Shinseki, that securing Iraq would require a vast number of boots on the ground.
Despite this obvious manpower shortage, the Bush administration remains committed to Rumsfeld's military-transformation agenda. Neither the president's budget for 2007 nor the Pentagon's 2006 Quadrennial Defense Review calls for expanding the number of U.S. troops.
In other words:
The Bush administration does nothing.
They "Stay the course!" that Rumsfeld's failing plan has laid out for them and try to ignore the real problems.
Unless McCain and the rest of the GOP that back his plan are advocating reinstating the draft when McCain calls for "another 20,000 troops in Iraq" then they really offer no real solution at all.
The soldiers aren't there to do it without a draft. The fact that it can't be done without a draft does not address the question of whether or not it should be done.
This is where the Connecticut Post is guilty of ignoring the facts in their biased editorial. They take a small part of General Abizaid's statement to refute the Democratic parties election platform to redeploy, but ignore where General Abizaid smacksdown McCains proposal:
McCain makes a good point with his "whackamole" comment, but clearly the only other thing that McCain is correct in when he talks about sending 20,000 more troops to Iraq is at the end of the video where he says, "I don't know where the troops are going to come from."
Today at a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing, CentCom commander Gen. John Abizaid rejected McCain’s calls for increased U.S. troop levels in Iraq, saying that he “met with every divisional commander, Gen. Casey, the core commander, Gen. Dempsey” and asked them if bringing “in more American troops now, [would] add considerably to our ability to achieve success in Iraq and they all said ‘no.’” Watch it:
McCain has repeatedly said that he would like to see another 20,000 U.S. troops in Iraq. As General Abizaid explained, McCain’s plan runs counter towards our goal in Iraq — specifically, the Iraqis taking responsibility for their own country. Abizaid said, “It is easy for the Iraqis to rely upon to us do this work. I believe that more American forces prevent the Iraqis from doing more, from taking more responsibility for their own future.”
He hasn't a clue that it would take a draft to get enough troops. Firstly, because we already don't have the troops to spare. And, secondly, because you need to be looking at the several hundred thousand pairs of boots on the ground deemed neccessary by General Shinseki, before he was chased out of the military by the neocons for being honest, if you really want to secure Iraq and you get the idea of how wrong McCain is.
“Something on the order of several hundred thousand soldiers, are probably, you know, a figure that would be required. We’re talking about post-hostilities control over a piece of geography that’s fairly significant with the kinds of ethnic tensions that could lead to other problems. And so, it takes significant ground force presence to maintain safe and secure environment to ensure that the people are fed, that water is distributed, all the normal responsibilities that go along with administering a situation like this.” [Sen. Armed Services Committee testimony, 2/25/03]
McCain’s misguided call for more troops would only make things worse in Iraq, is unrealistic given the fact that we don't have the 20,000 troops to spare, and would not be enough soldiers to be effective anyways.
And this is what the Connecticut Post suggests?
The new situation has forced the Democrats to take a more realistic view of the problem, and many have moved away from the view of Rep. John Murtha to pull out troops quickly.
I believe that the Connecticut Post needs to review its opinion on whom is really in need of taking a more relistic view:
Phased withdrawal is gaining consensus as the last best option for Iraq. A growing group of experts — including the Iraq Study Group and host of conservative senators — are consolidating behind a redeployment. 63 percent of Americans believe Congress should set a timetable.I also think that with bipartisan efforts being talked about so much in the political arena, and even being exhibited by some at almost every level on Capitol Hill (except from the White House), maybe the media should start taking a hard look at its own partisan reporting and agendas.
If they don't... I know that we will! :)