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Binge and Surge

Author: Peter Beinart
January 12, 2007
The New Republic


In Iraq, sadly, the troop surge planned by George W. Bush probably won’t make much difference. After all, theUnited States has already surged—the military sent several thousand more troops to Baghdad last summer—and the violence only got worse. Moreover, the intellectual architects of a new surge—retired General Jack Keane and the American Enterprise Institute’s Frederick Kagan—say it will require 30,000 more troops over 18 months to have a chance of success. But, according to most press reports, Bush is talking about no more than 20,000, and military officials say that number can’t be sustained for more than six months or a year. Some liberals don’t like the term “surge,” demanding that journalists call Bush’s plan an “escalation” instead. But, if the military is to be believed, “surge” is actually correct, because the United States can’t maintain a long-term escalation, which is one reason Bush’s plan will almost certainly fail. 

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