No More ‘Surge’ Protection? Now Oliver North Comes Out Against Iraq Plan

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By: E&P Staff

Bob Herbert and our own Joe Galloway, you’d expect — even, by this point, Thomas Friedman — but Oliver North? But it happened, in the hawkish Fox News contributor’s new syndicated column, where he came out against President Bush’s reported plan to escalate the number of U.S. troops in Iraq.

North recalls that on his recent return to Iraq, “Not one of the soldiers, sailors, airmen, Guardsmen or Marines I interviewed told me that they wanted more U.S. boots on the ground. In fact, nearly all expressed just the opposite: ‘We don’t need more American troops, we need more Iraqi troops,’ was a common refrain. They are right.

“The call for incrementally increasing U.S. troop strength in Iraq — a ‘solution’ that was first proffered last summer as the congressional election campaign heated up — sounds eerily like Lyndon Johnson’s plan to save Vietnam in the mid 1960s….

“Adding 10,000 or 20,000 more U.S. combat troops — mostly soldiers and Marines — isn’t going to improve Iraqi willingness to fight their own fight — an imperative if we are to claim victory in this war….

“A ‘surge’ or ‘targeted increase in U.S. troop strength’ or whatever the politicians want to call dispatching more combat troops to Iraq isn’t the answer. Adding more trainers and helping the Iraqis to help themselves, is. Sending more U.S. combat troops is simply sending more targets.”

The entire column can be found at:

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