Meanwhile, more troops to Baghdad
There’s this from the New York Times:
Even as word of the study group’s conclusions began to leak out, Gen. Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said two or three battalions of American troops were being sent to Baghdad from elsewhere in Iraq to assist in shoring up security there. Another Pentagon official said the additional troops for Baghdad would be drawn from a brigade in Mosul equipped with fast-moving, armored Stryker vehicles.
While the White House reviews its strategy options, Pentagon planners are also looking beyond the immediate reinforcements for Baghdad to the question of whether they will need to draw more on reserve units to meet troop requirements in the Iraqi capital, military officials said. In particular, the Army is considering sending about 3,000 combat engineers from reserve units.
The proposal would not increase the overall number of troops in Baghdad, but it is controversial because it would require sending units that had already been deployed to Iraq in recent years, a step National Guard officials have been trying to avoid.
The move has not been approved by the Bush administration, but the decision could be made in the coming weeks, and the first of the additional troops may begin arriving in Iraq by next spring, officials said.
Probably not the kind of numbers that will make a difference, I fear.