The war at home


Published: Tuesday, January 9, 2007 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, January 9, 2007 at 12:32 a.m.
Tomorrow evening President Bush intends to tell Americans about his new strategy for victory in Iraq. Reports are that the President will order the deployment ("surge" in politico-speak) of as many as 20,000 additional troops in a renewed attempt to contain sectarian violence.
There are currently 140,000 U.S. troops in Iraq. Maintaining even that level of deployment is already placing an enormous strain on the military. It is unclear that adding another 20,000 troops will be sufficient to stop Iraqis from slaughtering each other. And military leaders are warning that any strategy for success will require a military commitment of two to three years.
Americans have already spent nearly $450 billion, and lost more than 3,000 troops fighting this foolish, unnecessary war. How many more billions or dollars and how many more lost lives and how many more years will "victory" require?
Democrats in Congress say they oppose increasing troop strength, and popular opposition to the war was clearly a factor in the party's taking control of Congress in the last election. What is unclear is whether the Democrats now have the political will to deploy the only weapon they have, the power to control the budget, to try to prevent or limit President Bush's military build-up.
"You can't say you're opposed to the war and keep funding it,'' Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio, told the Boston Globe. He wants the new majority party in Congress to deny Bush the funding he needs to deploy additional troops.
Democratic leaders say they want to see a troop drawdown, not a buildup, take place over the next several months. President Bush clearly intends a much longer military commitment. We think Americans want their troops out of Iraq sooner, not later. Bush is marching in the wrong direction. What will Congress do to correct the President's course?

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