Monday, January 08, 2007

The McCain Doctrine

Our good ol' maverick from Arizona is, of course, the leading advocate for the surge of American troops escalation of the war. Today's "Progress Report" from the Center for American Progress points out that he doesn't quite have his math down yet:

In October, McCain declared that "another 20,000 troops in Iraq" were necessary to stem the violence. Five weeks later, that number shot up five times. "We must have more troops over there, maybe 20,000 more Marines, and 80,000 Army," McCain said. "We have to have a big enough surge that we can get Baghdad under control." One month after that, McCain's recommendation had dropped back down. “I would advocate two additional combat units in the Anbar Province, four in Baghdad with one in reserve. That's about 30,000," he told NBC News. On Jan. 4, during a Today Show appearance, McCain was asked, "Will 20,000 do the job in your opinion?” He responded, "I'm not sure. ... To make it of short duration and small size would be the worst of all options to exercise, in my opinion." And on Friday, when asked, "How many troops are you calling for in Iraq?" McCain answered, "We are not specific on numbers."
Backers of the McCain Doctrine keep saying that it's the troops already in Iraq who want more troops there, but Colin Powell - continuing his effort to rehabilitate himself after the embarrassments of his term as secretary of state - has the right response: "The colonels will always say they need more troops. That's why we have generals."