Thursday, December 28, 2006

Many soldiers say troop surge a bad idea

BAGHDAD, Iraq - Many of the American soldiers trying to quell sectarian killings in Baghdad don't appear to be looking for reinforcements. They say the temporary surge in troop levels some people are calling for is a bad idea.

President Bush is considering increasing the number of troops in Iraq and embedding more U.S. advisers in Iraqi units. White House advisers have indicated Bush will announce his new plan for the war before his State of the Union address Jan. 23.

In dozens of interviews with soldiers of the Army's 5th Battalion, 20th Infantry Regiment as they patrolled the streets of eastern Baghdad, many said the Iraqi capital is embroiled in civil warfare between majority Shiite Muslims and Sunni Arabs that no number of American troops can stop.

Others insisted current troop levels are sufficient and said any increase in U.S. presence should focus on training Iraqi forces, not combat.

LSB: You have to give Bush/Rove credit for changing the debate from war strategy to troop strength. Can anyone tell me what these additional 20,000-30,000 troops will be doing? Is there a plan for them, some sort of mission? Do we have the infra-structure in place to quickly add this many more troops? Let's hope those planning for this war escaltion didn't come from FEMA. Who am I kidding? Of course there is no plan, and the generals and troops on the ground think this is a bad idea, too. So let’s refocus the question for the President: What is the mission for these troops?

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