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Friday, Nov 17, 2006, 12:20 am

John McCain, Self-Contradiction Express

By Brian Zick
Adam Nagourney for the NY Times quotes McCain "arguing that the way to success was through increased troop strength":
“As troubling as it is, I can ask a young marine to go back to Iraq,” he said. “What I cannot do is ask him to return to Iraq, to risk life and limb, so that we might delay our defeat for a few months or a year. That is more to ask than patriotism requires.”
In a story subheaded "Military Leaders Oppose McCain's Push for Thousands of Additional Troops," Josh White in WaPo reports:
Military officials and defense experts, however, said yesterday that significantly escalating the number of U.S. combat troops in Iraq is largely implausible because it would severely strain the military, would be unsustainable for more than a few months and would offer no discernable long-term benefit.

On Wednesday, Gen. John P. Abizaid, who leads the U.S. Central Command, testified on Capitol Hill that he believes sending in a large contingent of infantry troops would be a mistake, in part because it could dissuade Iraqi troops from taking the lead in security operations.
Michael Gordon and Mark Mazetti for the NY Times report:
Senator Jack Reed, Democrat of Rhode Island, asked General Abizaid how much time the United States had to bring down the violence in Baghdad before events there were beyond the control of the Iraqi government. General Abizaid said the answer was four to six months.
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