The US may need to increase troop levels in Iraq, perhaps through extended tours of duty, according to a Pentagon spokesman.
This contradicts earlier (Sept. 2) assessments by General John Vines, which in turn contradicted those of Chief Pentagon spokesman Lawrence Di Rita (Aug. 8), who suggested extended tours of duty to raise the number of U.S. troops to around 160,000. It seems that the official position on this is very... variable.
I expect to hear another shift or two before the elections occur, but in the end I suspect that there will be more troops; after all, the United Kingdom is considering an increase in troop levels, and anti-US and anti-Shiite violence seems to have resurged over the past few days or so, after a two-to-three-week lull. the belief that we wouldn't need to increase troops was probably the result of the (probably temporary) lull, and maybe the result of concerns that talking about increasing troop levels would seem bad with all the concern about Hurricane Katrina.
In any case, I do not think that we are likely to see a decrease in troop levels in Iraq any time soon, unless it is by necessity. The idea that elections and constitutions will defeat the insurgency is wishful thinking.
That is all.