That sounds about right to me if we are actually serious about what the president allegedly believes, i.e. rebuilding a non-country from scratch through the brushfire of a bitter religious civil war. One pro-surge advocate has actually said so. Good for him. Fred Kaplan's piece is well worth a read. It would require a massive increase in global troop levels to maintain security across the world at anything like the current levels - an investment project of enorm ous proportions. This is the intellectually honest version of the current view that with minimal security gains in the patchwork of a disaggregated Iraq, we can and should hang in indefinitely. It's important, I think, to force the surge-promoters to acknowledge this. We appear to be heading toward a decision just to stay. Just because we can't accept a loss.

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