The guy who came up with the escalation plan last summer. Not Keane. Not Maliki. This guy. I will leave you to judge whether he looks like is a guy who believes in sacrifice. But that’s not the point. The point is that he and Jack Keane wrote that Bush’s version of escalation is a loser.
We need to cut through the confusion. Bringing security to Baghdad — the essential precondition for political compromise, national reconciliation and economic development — is possible only with a surge of at least 30,000 combat troops lasting 18 months or so. Any other option is likely to fail.
And, of course, al-Maliki starts right off on the wrong foot with this:
Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Maliki has filled the top military job in Baghdad with a virtually unknown officer chosen over the objections of U.S. and Iraqi military commanders, officials from both governments said.
Iraqi political figures said Friday that Maliki also had failed to consult the leaders of other political factions before announcing the appointment of Lt. Gen. Abud Qanbar.
I’m not too hopeful.