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Any color you want, as long as it's black

By Michael J. Smith on Tuesday November 21, 2006 12:17 PM

From the New York Times:
U.S. Considers Raising Troop Levels in Iraq

WASHINGTON, Nov. 20 — Pentagon officials conducting a review of Iraq strategy are considering a substantial but temporary increase in American troop levels and the addition of several thousand more trainers to work with Iraqi forces, a senior Defense Department official said Monday.

The idea, dubbed the "surge option" by some officials, would involve increasing American forces by 20,000 troops or more for several months in the hope of improving security, especially in Baghdad. That would mark a sharp rise over the current baseline of 144,000 troops. But some officials and senior military officers are arguing against the idea... There is far more consensus within the Pentagon on the need to increase the number of American trainers, more than 3,000 of whom are working with Iraqi Army, police and border units.... A Pentagon strategy review... is backing the idea, as is a separate panel studying Iraq options, led by former Secretary of State James A. Baker III....

The number of American advisers, who generally work in 11- to 13-member teams attached to Iraqi units, is likely to end up being doubled, the officials said. To do that, officials are considering whether they could convert American soldiers in combat units already in Iraq into advisers... The group appears to have rejected other more radical options, including a rapid withdrawal of American troops from Iraq....

Though a temporary increase of about 20,000 American troops is under consideration, the plan envisions the additional troops staying only until security conditions improve.

So the midterms' Great Blue Wave has changed... what, exactly? Gotta love the bit about "advisers", too. Us old-timers have heard that one before.

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