01 February 2007

Casey's Two Brigades

NPR reports that Gen. George Casey testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee that he only asked the President for two Brigades to help secure Baghdad rather than the 5 the current surge strategy calls for.

I want to believe that this is what he called for, but it brings up several questions. One is that feasible, or does it indicate a lack of judgment? Two is this a political move to back the President. If it is there are two ways that the statement can play.

1. The president is sending more troops then were asked for. Sending more troops is a sign of commitment to create peace in Iraq. It also shows that he is a strong leader and shouldn't be criticized for not sending enough troops.

2. Holding to the logic of the first point the statement by Casey gives the president wiggle room. If the Generals say that 2 brigades can get the job done then the President can back down based on publicly announced expert advice.

I'm no general and I don't know how many brigades it will take to secure Baghdad and Anbar. However the president has always said that gives the Generals what they want. It strikes me as strange when the American people don't agree with the decision is when he has given more then they asked for.