“The worst of all worlds would be a small, short surge of U.S. forces. We have tried small surges, and they have been ineffective because our commanders lacked the forces necessary to hold territory after it was cleared. Violence, which fell dramatically while U.S. forces were present, spiked as soon as they were gone. Any new surge needs to provide enough American troops to hold the areas on their own.
A short surge would have all the drawbacks associated with greater deployments without giving our troops the time to be effective. Announcing that we are surging for three or six months – or any other timeline – would signal to the insurgents and militias that they can wait us out, and it would indicate to the Iraqi public that the enforcement of their government’s authority will be fleeting. This would strengthen, not weaken, the power of the militias,” – Senator John McCain.
It’s a horrible situation to be in, knowing that the only real way to stop the horrible violence in Iraq, and safely pull out, is to have a massive surge of MORE troops. But that is reality. And damned near every Military expert agrees. The basic number is a minimum of 50,000, by most estimates. And another 100,000 over time.
This is a hard road we Americans have gone down. And it keeps getting harder.