US Defence Secretary Robert Gates said he would recommend to President George W. Bush increasing the Army and Marine Corps by 92,000 troops over the next five years for the long-term fight against terrorism.That's it! That's the whole report.
“The emphasis will be on increasing combat capability,” Mr Gates said at a White House news conference to detail Mr Bush's plan for changing course in the Iraq war.
But I can get you a few more details from Ireland:
US Defence Secretary Robert Gates today said it remains unclear how long the “temporary” US military build up ordered by President George Bush in Iraq will last.Oh, and by the way ...
But he said that the United States should know pretty soon whether Iraqis were living up to their part of the deal and increasing their own forces.
Bush’s new strategy, announced Wednesday in a prime-time address to the nation, increases US forces in Iraq by 21,500 and demands greater cooperation from the Iraqi government.
Asked how long that build-up might last, Gates told the briefing: “It’s viewed as a temporary surge, but I think that no one has a really clear idea of what that might be.”
Gates told reporters that he is recommending an overall increase in the military of 92,000 soldiers and Marines over the next five years, bringing the overall total to 202,000 in Marines and 540,000 in the Army worldwide. Bush said last month that he would propose extra troops for the armed forces, which have been strained by the protracted wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.Where are all the extra troops going to come from?
Oh, and by the way ...
Gates also said that to ease the strain on US forces in Iraq, he would have to cycle some reserve units back to the war zone faster than current Pentagon policy, which is to mobilise those units for a year after at least five years of being inactive.Does Bob Gates or anyone else have any idea how we're going to "win" the "War" on "Terror"?
Gates said today’s “global demands” made that change necessary, but said it would “allow us to move closer to removing the stress on the total force".
Asked if the new US and Iraqi offensive would go after Muqtada al-Sadr, the anti-US radical Shiite cleric, Gates said: “All lawbreakers are susceptible to being detained or taken care of in this campaign".In normal times, of course, the irony would be stunning.
Sadr is a key ally of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Maliki.
One could only hope for all the lawbreakers to be taken care of, starting in the Oval Office.
But we are no longer capable of being stunned.
So ... Bush announces the surge on Wednesday night ... and of course the details had already been leaked to soften the blow ... but then it turns out that the surge had already started even before his speech ... and then the next morning we get this?!
Does anyone else get the feeling we're being played like a cheap fiddle?
A really cheap fiddle.