Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Groundhog Day

US military planners are considering extended tours of duty for some units in Iraq if more US troops are needed for the upcoming elections there, a Pentagon spokesman said Monday.

Lawrence DiRita, the defense department's chief spokesman, said it was "entirely possible" commanders would want to boost the force in Iraq beyond its current level of 140,000.

"And I guess the thinking at the moment is, if we did need more and it was based on rotations, how would that work?" he said.

"And what would the impact be on units that might wind up getting extended a week or two beyond their one year?"

DiRita denied, however, that the reassessment of force levels was prompted by a surge in suicide bombings that have killed more than 200 civilians in Iraq over the past week.

"That's not a good way to determine how good or bad things are, by how many things are exploding," he told reporters.

Actually, Larry, most of us think that is an excellent measure. It certainly seemed to be the metric that Dear Leader wanted to use after a number of buildings and airplanes exploded on our soil four years ago. And I expect that the folks in Baghdad (you know, the ones O'Lielly worries can't get a cup of coffee) would validate that indicator as well.

Fact is, there seems to be an all-you-can-eat soup and IED bar over there, and Iraq is going to continue to need more troops than we have right up until the time when our military just plain breaks under the strain. In just a few months, extending tours with stop-loss orders is going to stop working. Then you are going to find that there is no artifice that will stop the losses.


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