Friday, January 05, 2007


so now it turns out that the "surge" in u.s. forces won't be a surge at all. instead of 20,000 additional troops, it will only involve 9,000, because that's all the military can come up with. so we're talking about an increase from 140k to 149k. that's not a "surge", it's a small uptick. it's charitable to even call that a "bump."

even when force levels are held "steady" the actual numbers fluctuate by a couple of thousand as individual units get rotated in and out. i've been using the 140,000 figure as the total number of u.s. soldiers currently in iraq. but sometimes the number is as low 130,000 (e.g.). because the normal baseline includes fluctuations that large, a 9,000 increase might not even be noticeable.

on top of that the 9,000 troop bump is less than half as big as the december 2005 surge. you know, the one i mentioned the other day; the surge that already failed to improve the situation in iraq.

sadly, bush's "new" plan for iraq will probably not be greeted with the ridicule it deserves.