U.S. Soldiers Tell Gates To Send More Troops

U.S. Soldiers Tell Gates To Send More Troops
December 22nd, 2006  
Team Infidel

Topic: U.S. Soldiers Tell Gates To Send More Troops

U.S. Soldiers Tell Gates To Send More Troops
December 21, 2006
By Kristin Roberts, Reuters
BAGHDAD (Reuters) - New Defense Secretary Robert Gates asked ordinary soldiers on the ground in Baghdad on Thursday for advice on fixing the war effort, and he received the same answer time and again -- bring in more American troops.
"Sir, I think we need to just keep doing what we're doing," Spc. Jason Glenn of Mount Grove, Missouri, told Gates over breakfast at Camp Victory.
"I really think we need more troops here. With more presence on the ground, more troops might hold them (the insurgents) off long enough to where we can get the Iraqi army trained up," Glenn said.
The soldier's views were echoed by others who sat down with Gates to talk about a war that both the defense secretary and President George W. Bush say the United States is not winning more than three years after the U.S.-led invasion.
"However you characterize it, it's not good enough," Gates told the soldiers about America's progress in the war.
Gates, in his first week on the job after replacing Donald Rumsfeld, is reaching widely for advice on the war effort. He met with U.S. commanders and the Iraqi defense minister on Wednesday and is due to meet with other Iraqi officials Thursday, including the prime minister.
Defense officials traveling with the defense secretary said they did not know how the soldiers who met with Gates were chosen from the 134,000 troops in Iraq.
While unscientific and perhaps not representative of troops' thoughts overall, the soldiers' views are among those Gates is weighing as he drafts recommendations for Bush.
Gates has given little indication of what strategies he will recommend to the president after returning from Iraq.
But he is openly discussing the possibility of a short-term increase, or "surge," in U.S. troops to gain control over security in Baghdad, where sectarian killings and kidnappings terrorize the civilian population daily.
Gates' one-hour breakfast with the 15 ordinary soldiers, none of whom were officers, was largely a question-and-answer session, with the defense secretary asking the majority of questions and seeking advice on troop levels, a timeline for training Iraqis, sectarian leanings within the Iraqi security forces and the "caliber and discipline" of both Iraqi soldiers and their military leaders.
No soldier present said the American forces should be brought home, and none said current troop levels were adequate, as some commanders have argued.
Gates stressed the importance of reconstruction efforts that could quickly improve Iraqis' daily lives. He also said the United States and the Iraqi government should move to reopen state-owned factories and generate jobs.
Soldiers told Gates that Iraqi security forces were improving, but that many do not show up for work.
They also cited the challenge of training Iraqis who have ties to sectarian militias and who give those groups information about upcoming operations. One soldier said members of the Iraqi army see themselves as Iraqis but that local police identify themselves as Shi'ite or Sunni.
December 22nd, 2006  
Lord Londonderry
Yes, it was said by the wise FEW on this forum many a time that there was always a lack of troops on the the ground. Too late now! It's a mess. Iran must be just busting their sides with laughter on how stupid the US government has been.

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