Sunday, October 30, 2005


The number of soldiers in Iraq is at the highest it has been at since the Iraq War started in March 2003.

Now of course this is supposed to be temporary; however, (a) our usual level is 138,000, so it is not as if returning to normal would greatly reduce our troop commit, and (b) despite constant predictions that "progress" would enable us to draw down forces, none of the milestones we have reached so far (transfer of sovereignty, elections) have resulted in any significant long-term reduction in our "usual level" of troops, nor have they made the need to increse troop levels while meeting the next milestone any less.

That is, we increased troop levels to 159,000 during the January elections to provide extra security, and now to 161,000 for the constitutional referendum, and there is an indication that we will do so again for the parliamentary elections in December.

Of course, we are told that we might be able to reduce our troop levels next year if things go well.

Don't hold your breath.

That is all.

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