The War for the Surge

Michael Kinsley has similar pieces published in Slate, the LA Times, and Washington Post, that the “surge,” frequently touted as a success, is actually failing:

President Bush laid down the standard of success when he announced the surge more than a year ago: “If we increase our support at this crucial moment, and help the Iraqis break the current cycle of violence, we can hasten the day our troops begin coming home.” At the time, there were about 130,000 American soldiers in Iraq. Bush proposed to add up to 20,000 more troops. Although Bush never made any official promises about a timetable, the surge was generally described as lasting six to eight months.
By last summer, the surge had actually added closer to 30,000 troops, making the total American troop count about 160,000. Today, there are still more than 150,000 American troops in Iraq. The official plan has been to get that number back down to 130,000 by July and then to keep going so that there would be about 100,000 American troops in Iraq by the time Bush leaves office. Lately, though, Gen. Petraeus has come up with another zenlike idea: He calls it a “pause.” And the administration has signed on, meaning that the total number of American troops in Iraq will remain at 130,000 for an undetermined period.

Read a rebuttal at Pajamas Media or American Thinker. Democracy Arsenal says Kinsley is right, but for the wrong reasons. Republicans say the surge is working, while McCain says if the surge is perceived as failing, “I lose.”

About Curzon

Lord George Nathaniel Curzon (1859 - 1925) entered the British House of Commons as a Conservative MP in 1886, where he served as undersecretary of India and Foreign Affairs. He was appointed Viceroy of India at the turn of the 20th century where he delineated the North West Frontier Province, ordered a military expedition to Tibet, and unsuccessfully tried to partition the province of Bengal during his six-year tenure. Curzon served as Leader of the House of Lords in Prime Minister Lloyd George's War Cabinet and became Foreign Secretary in January 1919, where his most famous act was the drawing of the Curzon Line between a new Polish state and Russia. His publications include Russia in Central Asia (1889) and Persia and the Persian Question (1892). In real life, "Curzon" is a US citizen from the East Coast who has been a financial analyst, freelance translator, and university professor; he is currently on assignment in Tokyo.
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2 Responses to The War for the Surge

  1. Adrian says:

    Depends what you think the actual goal of the surge was. Was it the stated goal of lowering violence to get pressure off the politicians in Baghdad so they could make concessions and cut deals? Or was it a last ditch gamble to maintain political support in the U.S.? The latter goal succeeded – even though the majority of Americans still want to leave Iraq, its created the perception amongst uninformed media types that we have a chance of winning. If the goal was actual political goals in Baghdad then its an obvious failure.

    I wrote a couple posts on the surge – the first looking at the surge as if it targets the domestic political opinion, the second looking at the cost/benefits.

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