Most of the US troops in Iraq view escalation as a step backwards and prevents the US from victory.
The bipartisan Iraq Study Group opposed such a move in no uncertain terms. "Sustained increases in U.S. troop levels would not solve the fundamental cause of violence in Iraq, which is the absence of national reconciliation," the report says. "Meanwhile, America's military capacity is stretched thin: we do not have the troops or equipment to make a substantial, sustained increase in our troop presence. Increased deployments to Iraq would also necessarily hamper our ability to provide adequate resources for our efforts in Afghanistan or respond to crises around the world." The ISG report emphasizes the need to engage more effectively in the battle of ideas in the Arab world. First, the report says, Bush "should state that the United States does not seek permanent military bases in Iraq." (Last June, the New York Times reported the administration was making plans for "maintaining a force of roughly 50,000 troops there for years to come.") Second, the U.S. must show a "renewed and sustained commitment" to a "comprehensive Arab-Israeli peace on all fronts." Gen. John P. Abizaid, until recently the senior commander in the Middle East, insists that the answer to our problems there is not military. "You have to internationalize the problem. You have to attack it diplomatically, geo-strategically," he said. His assessment is supported by Gen. George W. Casey Jr., the senior American commander in Iraq, and the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who only recommend releasing forces with a clear definition of the goals for the additional troops. A surge is not acceptable to the people in this country -- we have voted overwhelmingly against this war in polls (about 80 percent of the public is against escalation, and a recent Military Times poll shows only 38 percent of active military want more troops sent) and at the polls.
· 1 decade ago