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President Bush’s much heralded ‘surge’ in Iraq has withered down to a ‘bump.’ Instead of sending forty-thousand more soldiers to Baghdad, according to the State Department we’re planning to send fifteen or twenty-thousand. Three or four combat brigades.

Why not three or four divisions? If sending more soldiers to Iraq is valid logic, why not 100,000 or 150,000? If more men will win the war why risk half-measures? At worst, having too many men in Iraq won’t hurt our chances. At best, it may end the war. So, why not?

The answer is we don’t have 150,000 men. Or 40,000. So we’ve abandoned a ‘surge’ for a ‘bump.’ But ‘bumps’ are what got us into this mess in the first place.

When Colin Powell invaded Kuwait, sixteen years ago, he didn’t attack until he had 500,000 men. And, even then, he didn’t try to conquer Iraq. Donald Rumsfeld did try with 140,000 men – and found out Colin Powell was right.

Iraq is a nation that’s bigger than Germany or England or Japan. How much difference will three brigades make? Iraq has thirty million citizens. Are 15,000 soldiers going to turn the tide from defeat to victory? If we’re going to fight it out in Iraq – and  President Bush seems determined to do just that – he must abandon ‘bumps’ for of what Powell described as ‘overwhelming force.’

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