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Watering Down the Surge?

12:22 PM, Jan 14, 2007 • By DANIEL MCKIVERGAN
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Former Army Chief of Staff Gen. Jack Keane worries that http://www.weeklystandard.com/weblogs/TWSFP/2007/01/update_white_house_f... target=_blank>Lt. Gen. Petraeus may be assuming command in Iraq without adequate forces. From today's Sunday Telegraph:

THE MILITARY mastermind of President George W. Bush's new troop "surge'' strategy for Iraq has hit out at signs that the Pentagon is watering down the proposal for political reasons.

"You cannot try and do this piecemeal. We have to implement the whole package,'' retired Gen Jack Keane, the former army vice-chief of staff who co-wrote the "Choosing Victory'' strategy paper, told The Sunday Telegraph.

He expressed alarm after Robert Gates, the US defence secretary, told congressmen the troop build-up was expected to last "a matter of months'' - rather than the 18 months proposed by Gen Keane.

Mr Gates also said full deployment of the 21,500 extra troops announced by Mr Bush might not be implemented. He suggested that only two or three of the five brigades proposed for Baghdad might initially be deployed, while the rest were held in reserve.

"That makes no military sense, although it might seem to make political sense,'' said Gen Keane. "We need all five brigades in Baghdad as soon as possible. It will take three to four months to clear neighbourhoods of death squads and insurgents, and at least the rest of the year to establish proper security for the population. If you only wanted to stage a clearance operation, you could do that in a few months. But if we left then, the militia would just return as they have in the past.''