Sunday, July 13, 2008
Bush plans to increase pace of Iraqi withdrawal
The New York Times reports today that even as Bush and McCain attempt to demonize Obama's plan to bring troops home, and even as they break off talks with the Iraqi government rather than agree to a time table for withdrawal, Bush plans to increase the pace of withdrawal of combat troops from Iraq.
Although the GOP has been declaring victory in Iraq all year, they really don't believe it, or they would not be heretofore so resistant to troop reductions. The motivation here is the need for more troops in Afghanistan and there being no other option. We simply don't have the troops to wage two long-term wars at the same time.
The Taliban has intensified their insurgency and are inflicting increasingly higher numbers of NATO casualties as the chart at left shows.
213 American soldiers and marines have been killed in Iraq so far this year. There have been 143 military casualties in Afghanistan this year, 78 of which were American. Lt. Gen. Lloyd J. Austin III, the No. 2 U.S. military commander in Iraq, said that the number of attacks in Iraq on U.S. and Iraqi forces averaged 200 per week this June. Keep these numbers in mind as you hear declarations of victory.