One of these things is not like the other...NYT: "Iraq has presented the United States with a plan that calls for Iraqi troops to assume primary responsibility for security in Baghdad early next year. American troops would be shifted to the periphery of the capital."
"I think it is extremely important they reduce their visibility and they reduce their presence," Mowaffak al-Rubaie, Iraqs national security adviser, said of the American troops in Baghdad. "They should be in the suburbs within greater Baghdad."LAT: "Strong support has coalesced in the Pentagon behind a military plan to 'double down' in the country with a substantial buildup in American troops, an increase in industrial aid and a major combat offensive against Muqtada Sadr, the radical Shiite leader impeding development of the Iraqi government.
The problem with any sort of surge is that it would require an eventual drop-off in 2008, unless the president was willing to take the politically unpopular move of remobilizing the National Guard and sending reserve combat units back to Iraq.But military officials are taking a close look at a proposal advanced by Frederick W. Kagan, a former West Point Military Academy historian, to combine a surge with a quick buildup of the Marines and the Army. That could allow new units to take the place of the brigades sent to Iraq to augment the current force."It is essential for the president to couple any recommendation of a significant surge in Iraq with the announcement that he will increase permanently the size of the Army and the Marines," Kagan said.Kagan, who plans to release a preliminary report on his proposal Thursday, said he had discussed his ideas with people in the government. Although the military has had trouble meeting recruiting goals, Kagan said Army officials believed they could recruit at least an extra 20,000 soldiers a year. The Army missed its recruiting targets in 2005 but met this year's goal.