Chicago Sun-Times
The scoop from Washington

Senate Democrats. Not waiting for Bush speech, calls escalation plan flawed.

| 1 Comment

Senate Democrats, in this briefing, pulls together a lot of information from experts who advise that sending more soldiers to Iraq won't help solve sectarian violence.

this from Senate Dems............

The President Is Alone in Calling for an Escalation in Iraq

The President's plan to escalate the war is opposed by top military leaders, foreign policy experts, elected leaders of both parties, and the majority of the American people. Despite the fact that there is no purely military solution in Iraq, the President plans to make our troops and their families sacrifice even more for his flawed policies. Congress will hold the President accountable to ensure a change of course that turns Iraq over to the Iraqis and allows for our troops to come home.

The Military Opposes an Escalation in Iraq

General Colin Powell: Surge Will Not Work. Powell said, “I am not persuaded that another surge of troops into Baghdad for purposes of suppressing this communitarian violence, this civil war, will work.” [Face the Nation, CBS, 12/17/06]

General George Casey: Skeptical of Troop Escalation Plan. Casey: “It’s always been my view that a heavy and sustained American military presence was not going to solve the problems in Iraq over the long term.” [New York Times, 1/2/07]

General John Abizaid Thinks More Troops Will Only Keep the Iraqis from Taking Responsibility for Their Own Future. In testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee, General Abizaid said, “Senator McCain, I met with every divisional commander, General Casey, the corps commander, General Dempsey, we all talked together. And I said, in your professional opinion, if we were to bring in more American Troops now, does it add considerably to our ability to achieve success in Iraq? And they all said no. And the reason is because we want the Iraqis to do more. 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.” [Senate Armed Services Committee Testimony, 11/15/06]

Joint Chiefs: “Unanimous Disagreement” to a Surge. A Washington Post article, using anonymous White House sources, reports that “White House officials [are] aggressively promoting the concept over the unanimous disagreement of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.” [Washington Post, 12/19/06]

General James T. Conway, Commandant of the Marine Corps: “We do not believe that just adding numbers for the sake of adding numbers—just thickening the mix—is necessarily the way to go.” [Lou Dobbs Tonight, CNN 12/18/06]

Former NATO Supreme Allied Commander General Wesley K. Clark: More Troops Will Not Deliver a Win. Clark wrote, “Will [a surge] deliver a ‘win?’ Probably not. But it does distract us from facing the deep-seated regional issues that must be resolved.” [Washington Post, 1/8/07]

Oliver North: North said, “A ‘surge’ or ‘targeted increase in US troop strength’ or whatever the politicians want to call dispatching more combat troops to Iraq isn’t the answer. Adding more trainers and helping the Iraqis to help themselves, is. Sending more US combat troops is simply sending more targets.” [Human Events Online, 1/5/07]

Donald Rumsfeld: More Troops “Less Attractive.” In a memo to the White House, Rumsfeld listed “Increase Brigade Combat Teams and US forces in Iraq substantially” under the category “Below the Line (less attractive options).” [New York Times, 12/3/06]

Major General Don Shepperd, USAF (Ret.): I Would Not Even Consider Increasing Troop Strength in Iraq. Shepperd, who works as a CNN military analyst, offered his analysis of what should be done next after he was briefed by members of the Iraq Study Group. He wrote, “I would not even consider increasing troop strength in Iraq.” [, 12/11/06]

Michael Vickers, Former Special Forces Officer: “All The Forces in The World” Won’t Change Security Situation in Iraq. Vicks said, “The security situation is inextricably linked to politics. If you can solve some of the Iraqi political problems, the security situation becomes manageable. If you can't...all the forces in the world aren't going to change that.” [The Newshour with Jim Lehrer, PBS, 12/12/06]

Lawrence Korb, Former Assistant Secretary of Defense: Korb said, “we had a chance in the beginning to send the right number of troops. We didn't, and now I think it would only make the situation worse and it would make the Iraqis more dependent on us” [Talk of the Nation, NPR, 9/18/06]

Robert Gates: Skeptical of More Troops. “According to two administration officials who asked not to be named, Robert Gates expressed his skepticism about a troop surge in Iraq on his first day on the job, December 18, at a Pentagon meeting with civilians who oversee the Air Force, Army, Navy, and Marines.” [New York Sun, 12/27/06]

Foreign Policy Experts Oppose an Escalation

Ambassador Richard Holbrooke: 40,000 Troops Would Make Little Difference. “[Some people are] saying that 30,000 or 40,000 more troops would make a difference. I respectfully disagree. With the tooth-to-tail ratios of the military -- that is combat soldiers versus cooks, people who run the PX’s and the bowling alleys and so on -- with the fact that the first thing they have to do is build barracks, which are bullet, bomb-proof to protect themselves, any military guy you talk to will tell you that 40,000 troops will not make that kind of difference.” [Charlie Rose Show, 8/14/06]

Michael E. O'Hanlon, Brookings Institute: Call for More Troops Repeats the Mistakes of Vietnam. O'Hanlon, said McCain’s proposal to send more troops to Iraq “would just repeat the mistake of Vietnam,” by sending an extra 100,000 troops. [Boston Globe, 10/24/06; New York Times, 11/14/06; Washington Post, 11/16/06]

Richard Haass, Former Bush Official and President of The Council On Foreign Relations: Even Doubling Troops Might Not Stabilize the Situation. “It's not clear to me that even if you double the level of American troops you would somehow stabilize the situation [in Iraq].” [Today, NBC News Transcript, 11/30/06]

Jessica Matthews, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace: More Troops “Merely Palliative.” “Sending more American troops should not divert the US from recognising that they are a palliative. Iraq cannot be pacified by military means alone. Without a new political plan, adopted quickly, the violence will grow and eventually overwhelm everyone involved.” [Financial Times (London, England), 4/21/04]

Andrew Bacevich, International Relations Professors at Boston University: Surge Effects “Slim and None.” Bacevich said the “chances that adding 20,000 or so US troops for several months would stabilize Baghdad are ‘slim and none’.” [AP, 12/19/06]

1 Comment

used to have this girlfriend that liked to yell at me during sex - mean, nasty things about what a jack-a** i am. she used to make me rub babypower on her, during sex/yelling, and it would disturb my asthma. now that we've broken up i can't enjoy peacful, non-yelling asthma-free sex. what can i do?

Leave a comment

Get the Sweet widget

More widgets


Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

Stay in touch

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on January 10, 2007 11:15 AM.

Biden opens Iraq hearings. Dems launch congressional oversight. was the previous entry in this blog.

Bush's Iraq speech. Admits failure in Baghdad. Calls for troop increase. Redefines the mission. is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.