The Selling Job for Increasing Troops in Iraq

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An overnight poll by ABC News and the Washington Post shows that 60% of Americans are against the President's "New Way Forward" in Iraq. Before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee today, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice elaborated on the rationale for increasing troops. But three members of the President's own Republican Party said they can't go along. Even White House supporters call this the President's "last chance" to rally support. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said today that he doesn't know how long increased troop levels will last, but assured that before many additional soldiers arrive, there will be time to evaluate whether Iraq's government is fulfilling its obligations. Meantime, he signed orders authorizing the military to notify units and family members about new deployments. What is the mission of additional US troops?  Are they trained and equipped to perform it?  Are 21,500 enough? Is the Iraqi government really prepared to divide oil revenues and political power between Shiites and Sunnis as President Bush demands?




Warren Olney