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January 11, 2007


I've been an agnostic on the "more troops" argument -- see this post where I wrote:

This question -- how big should the Army be -- is only loosely related to the question of whether we should, as John McCain wants, send 35,000 more troops to Iraq, except insofar as this wouldn't be such a big issue if we had a bigger Army to begin with. Whether 35,000 more troops will make a difference or not is unclear to me, and it's a matter on which the generals themselves seem to be divided.

As Barnett notes, though, this is not merely an increase in troops but also, and more importantly, a change in tactics. Will it be enough? I don't know. I have to say, though, that it's been amusing to see the same people who were recently demanding that Bush send more troops suddenly reverse and criticize him for . . . sending more troops. The question of troop numbers is one where reasonable people can and do differ, but that doesn't mean that lame political oppositionalism isn't recognizable as such.

UPDATE: Maybe these decisions shouldn't be made by people who think that we've been in Iraq for 5 1/2 years.

ANOTHER UPDATE: On the other hand, hitting Bush for sending too many troops and not enough troops in the same column surely qualifies for some sort of award.

MORE: Sober thoughts from Stephen Bainbridge and Michael Young. [Bainbridge is sober? -- Ed. Despite the wine-blogging, it happens.]