Dean Barnett takes a look at the details. We’re more than doubling the number of troops in Baghdad — Bush didn’t want to stress this because it leads to some uncomfortable questions as to why we had so few troops in the capital to begin with. I was actually somewhat shocked to learn that we only had 13,000 troops in the largest population center in the country. Adding another 20,000 is going to make a difference — the question is whether it will make enough of a difference.
Bush is doing the right things — albeit quite a bit later than he should. The oil trust should have been implemented from the beginning. The rules of engagement should never have been so restrictive as to hamstring our troops. However, hindsight is 20/20 — what matters now is what we do to fix the situation we have. This surge will be fraught with dangers, and this is a difficult sacrifice to demand of our brave troops and their families. Ultimately, the stakes are too high to simply give up.