What Did the Surge Accomplish?
From Lt. Gen. Carter Ham’s Pentagon presser yesterday:
Q: General, what does it say about security conditions in Iraq that 18 months after the surge began, you’re going to need 10,000 more troops or 8,000 more troops in Iraq at that time to maintain stability? Doesn’t that mean that it hasn’t had the desired effect if you still need an elevated troop number just to keep things steady?
GEN. HAM: I think it means that the conditions are ever- changing. It is important, also, to remember that the Iraqis surged at a much higher level than the U.S. did, and they are increasingly performing their tasks as well. So I would say, rather — I guess from my view — rather than look at this negatively, I will say there is an opportunity now to take advantage of the security that has been established by the five surge brigades.
Amazing how Gen. Ham says the surge has made "conditions… ever-changing" and Sen. McCain hears, "Victory!"