I think Bush will choose to increase American troop numbers in Iraq to 170,000 (from 140,000) as a way to 'gain security' so that America can pull out and allow Iraqi troops to 'step up'. This is one of three suggestions that have been put to Bush called 'Go Long' (increase troop number to 170,000 to allow Iraqi troop training), 'Go Big' (put 100 000 more American troops into Iraq), or 'Go Home' (Pull out and trigger a civil war). I am at a loss as to understand why these plans have been given such simplistic names, oh hold on - they were the only ones Bush could remember. The plan to train Iraqi troops however is nonesense - this from Washington Post...
Flaws Cited in Effort To Train Iraqi Forces
U.S. Officers Roundly Criticize Program
The U.S. military's effort to train Iraqi forces has been rife with problems, from officers being sent in with poor preparation to a lack of basic necessities such as interpreters and office materials, according to internal Army documents.
The shortcomings have plagued a program that is central to the U.S. strategy in Iraq and is growing in importance. A Pentagon effort to rethink policies in Iraq is likely to suggest placing less emphasis on
combat and more on training and advising, sources say.
In dozens of official interviews compiled by the Army for its oral history archives, officers who had been involved in training and advising Iraqis bluntly criticized almost every aspect of the effort. Some officers thought that team members were often selected poorly. Others fretted that the soldiers who prepared them had never served in Iraq and lacked understanding of the tasks of training and advising. Many said they felt insufficiently supported by the Army while in Iraq, with intermittent shipments of supplies and interpreters who often did not seem to understand English.
The Iraqi officers interviewed by an Army team also had complaints; the top one was that they were being advised by officers far junior to them who had never seen combat.
Some of the American officers even faulted their own lack of understanding of the task. "If I had to do it again, I know I'd do it completely different," reported Maj. Mike Sullivan, who advised an Iraqi army battalion in 2004. "I went there with the wrong attitude and I thought I understood Iraq and the history because I had seen
PowerPoint slides, but I really didn't."
So the entire attempt to train Iraqi troops has been a complete failure - 100% - yet Bush will choose training Iraqi troops as an option - which I think is a joke. I think he wants the extra troops in there, and the use of the 'training Iraqi troops' is an arabwash - an attempt to make the decision look like it is working with Iraq, when in reality it's about escalating troop numbers without anyone noticing with the focus diverted by 'training Iraqis'.
So why increase troop numbers? Look at this little tit bit from Israeli newspaper, Haaretz...
Bush: I would understand if Israel chose to attack Iran
By Yossi Verter, Haaretz Correspondent
U.S. President George W. Bush and President Jacques Chirac of France met several weeks ago. Bush told his French counterpart that the possibility that Israel would carry out a strike against Iran's nuclear installations should not be ruled out. Bush also said that if such an attack were to take place, he would understand.
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