August 21, 2005

Four More Years

It's not just a campaign slogan for a president's re-election campaign, now it's a battle plan:

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The U.S. Army is making plans to keep the current number of soldiers in Iraq -- well over 100,000 -- for four more years, the Army's top general said Saturday.

In an Associated Press interview, Gen. Peter Schoomaker said the Army is prepared for the "worst case" in terms of the required level of troops in Iraq. He said the number could be adjusted lower, if called for, by slowing troop rotation or by shortening tours for soldiers.

Schoomaker said commanders in Iraq and others will decide how many troops will be needed next year and beyond. His responsibility, he said, is to provide them, trained and equipped.

About 138,000 U.S. troops, including about 25,000 Marines, are in Iraq. ...

If that's the case, it'll put a cast-iron lid on any plans to start additional wars. There was a lot of speculation from usually in-the-know sources that there were people in the administration chomping at the bit to get at Iran or Syria and numerous alarming public saber-rattling incidents. Though you know we're in bad shape when a Republican Senator throws cold water on the battle rage:

WASHINGTON, Aug 19 (Reuters) - Republican Party foreign policy expert Sen. Chuck Hagel is calling for the United States to open talks with Iran's new president and has dismissed President George W. Bush's talk of a military option against Tehran as an empty and foolish threat.

In an interview with Reuters during a trip across his home state on Wednesday, Hagel said the United States should greet the new Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad with a bold diplomatic stroke.

... "Quite frankly, what is the military option, what are we talking about here? We lose credibility in the face of the world when we say things like, 'Well just don't forget what happened to Iraq could happen to you Iran. We could invade you, we could bomb you.'

"Oh come on now. First of all, where are we going to get the troops? Who's going to go with us? Where are our partners going to be with Iran?" ...

If we're going to have to make nice with them someday, you may want to head here for your introduction to George W Ahmadinejad, the Iranian hardline neoconservative president. Hah.

Posted by natasha at August 21, 2005 02:33 AM | Iraq | TrackBack(1) | Technorati links |