Monday, September 10, 2007

Anab Assesses Hunt for the White Whale

No surprise from the early reports of Petraeus' expected testimony to Congress. He wants to continue the hunt for the white whale indefinitely.

Here's the first report from the New York Times:

The top American commander in Iraq Gen. David H. Petraeus, has recommended that decisions on the contentious issue of reducing the main body of the American troops in Iraq be put off for six months, American officials said Sunday.

General Petraeus, whose long-awaited testimony before Congress is to begin today at about 12:30 p.m. Eastern time, has informed President Bush that troop cuts may begin in mid-December, with the withdrawal of one of the 20 American combat brigades in Iraq, about 4,000 troops. By August 2008, the American force in Iraq would be down to 15 combat brigades, the force level before Mr. Bush’s troop reinforcement plan.

The precise timing of such reductions, which would leave about 130,000 troops in Iraq, could vary, depending on conditions in the country. But the general has also said that it is too soon to present recommendations on reducing American forces below that level because the situation in Iraq is in flux. He has suggested that he wait until March to outline proposals on that question.

Given the troop drawdown that will happen next Spring as a necessary result of troop rotations, Petraeus is basically asking he be given everything the military has ... well, except for that one brigade that he hopes will fool the American public into thinking he and Bush really want to get troops out of Iraq.

I haven't been able to assess all the press reports yet, but one word I bet you won't be hearing ... Afghanistan. Neither Petraeus nor Bush really seem to care about the critical importance Afghanistan plays in our long-term foreign policy interests. Their white whale is Iraq, plain and simple.

What's clear is that Petraeus and Bush cannot stop themselves and change course for what's in America's best interest. People (especially the media elites) need to stop kidding themselves that these guys are truly analyzing what is the "best of all the worst choices" in the disaster which is Iraq.


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