Send in the Troops? They're Already There


In the latest pulse-pounding issue of Conservative Two-in-One (featuring William Kristol or Rich Lowry or possibly both as Ben Grimm), the editors of the Weekly Standard and National Review teamed up earlier his week in the Washington Post to call for, wait for it….more troops in Iraq:

More U.S. troops in Iraq would improve our chances of winning a decisive battle at a decisive moment. This means the ability to succeed in Iraq is, to some significant degree, within our control. The president should therefore order a substantial surge in overall troop levels in Iraq, with the additional forces focused on securing Baghdad.

There is now no good argument for not sending more troops.

Daniel Benjamin and Michele A. Flournoy at Slate think they have one: We don't really have more troops to send.

In fact, there are no more troops to send to Iraq.

That is the unmistakable message of an Army briefing making the rounds in Washington. According to in-house assessments, fully two-thirds of the Army's operating force, both active and reserve, is now reporting in as "unready"–that is, they lack the equipment, people, or training they need to execute their assigned missions. Not a single one of the Army's Brigade Combat Teams–its core fighting units–currently in the United States is ready to deploy. In short, the Army has no strategic reserve to speak of. The other key U.S. fighting force in Iraq, the Marine Corps, is also hurting, with much of its equipment badly in need of repair or replacement.

The Slate piece is detailed, sobering, and worth reading in full, painting a vivid picture of history's most expensive and vast military crumbling away in the desert sands.