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Four Color Politics

Mainly the Quotes of the Morning, with occasional Other Crap.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Quotes of the Morning: The Surge'n General

“U.S. officials tell ABC News that the troop levels in Iraq cannot be maintained at the present level, either politically or practically, with the military stretched so thin.
But that does not imply an immediate drawdown. Officials tell ABC's Martha Raddatz the senior commanders in Iraq -- Lt. Gen. Ray Odierno and Gen. David Petraeus -- want the surge to continue until at least December, and expect to report enough progress by September to justify the extension.
The drawdown would begin in February 2008, although each of the two generals supports a slightly different plan.
Plan one, which officials say is being pushed by Odierno, calls for a reduction in troops from roughly 150,000 today to 100,000 by December of 2008.
Petraeus champions a slightly different approach that would be to cut the troops down to roughly 130,000 by the end of 2008, with further reductions the following year.”
-ABC News, June 1, 2007

“Interesting. Gen. Petraeus wants to reduce troop counts by 20,000 by the end of 2008. Hmm.. How big was that surge after all?”

“The top US commander in Iraq has requested another Army brigade, on top of five already on the way, as part of the controversial ‘surge’ of American troops designed to clamp down on sectarian violence and insurgent groups, senior Pentagon officials said today. The appeal -- not yet made public -- by Gen. David Petraeus for a combat aviation unit would involve between 2,500 and 3,000 more soldiers and dozens of transport helicopters and powerful gunships, said the Pentagon sources. That would bring the planned expansion of US forces so far to close to 30,000 troops.

News of the additional deployment comes about a week after President Bush announced that about 4,700 support troops will join the initial 21,500 he ordered in January. They are in addition to the estimated 130,000 troops already in Iraq.
‘This is the next shoe to drop,’ said one senior Pentagon official closely involved in the war planning. ‘But you cannot put five combat brigades in there and not have more aviation guys, military police, and intelligence units.’"
-Boston Globe, March 15, 2007

“Let me see.. carry the two.. Um, aw heck. How many more troops is that roughly?”

“President Bush asked Congress on Saturday for $3.2 billion to pay for 8,200 more U.S. troops needed in Afghanistan and Iraq on top of the 21,500-troop buildup he announced in January.”
-Associated Press, March 11, 2007

“So it looks like there were at least about 30,000 troops added to the war zones as part of the surge. So Gen. Petraeus is saying that he is not expecting full draw-down from the surge until at least a year and a half from now. So much for that September report.”

“The Bush administration will not try to assess whether the troop increase in Iraq is producing signs of political progress or greater security until September, and many of Mr. Bush’s top advisers now anticipate that any gains by then will be limited, according to senior administration officials.
In interviews over the past week, the officials made clear that the White House is gradually scaling back its expectations for the government of Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki. The timelines they are now discussing suggest that the White House may maintain the increased numbers of American troops in Iraq well into next year. ”
-New York Times, April 27, 2007

"I have tried to discourage my Republican colleagues from saying that September is some kind of seminal moment. I am aware the American people are frustrated. I share that frustration. I don't think the American people are aware of the consequences of failure."
-Sen. John McCain, May 27, 2007

“Thanks to Tim Juchter for today’s headline.. I’ve been waiting to use that one for a while.”


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