Escalating Our Way Out of Safety

The San Francisco Chronicle:

(05-22) 04:00 PDT Washington -- The Bush administration is quietly on track to nearly double the number of combat troops in Iraq this year, an analysis of Pentagon deployment orders showed Monday.

The little-noticed second surge, designed to reinforce U.S. troops in Iraq, is being executed by sending more combat brigades and extending tours of duty for troops already there.

The actions could boost the number of combat soldiers from 52,500 in early January to as many as 98,000 by the end of this year if the Pentagon overlaps arriving and departing combat brigades.

Separately, when additional support troops are included in this second troop increase, the total number of U.S. troops in Iraq could increase from 162,000 now to more than 200,000 -- a record-high number -- by the end of the year.
I'm no military expert, but it seems to me that expecting our already stressed (broken) military to come up with an additional 40,000 troops to send to Iraq might be a bit of a problem. More stop-loss, more extended tours, more quick turn around. These things are strategically devastating to our national security.

Think about it.

If every single unit that the United States can muster is either in Iraq or on a quick rotation back to Iraq, we have no reserve. There is, literally, no slack in the system to address any unexpected disaster/emergency around the world where our military would be need to protect our interests or our security.

And there are no shortage of flash points that could erupt. If President Musharraf in Pakistan is over thrown, what would happen to our troops in Afghanistan? And there's the possibility of a humanitarian mission a la Bosnia that could require American forces.

And don't think that nations around the world have missed the fact that every ounce of American military might is busy trying to dig George W. Bush out of a hole in the Middle East. Everybody knows that America is weak right now. We are literally unable to respond to crises that would legitimately require our military. Think Taiwan or North Korea.

America is losing it's ability to control situations by threat of force. Big-time strategic problems arise when 'deterrence' is the primary strategy for managing a problem and the force behind that deterrence suddenly disappears.

Nobody steals the lunch money from the toughest kid on the playground, but when he's got both of his hands firmly stuck in a briar patch, it's a lot easier to pick his pocket...

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