“Been there, done that” is one Wisconsin congressman's response to the president's troop surge plan. La Crosse Democrat Ron Kind, in a conference call with reporters, says this latest plan from President Bush is really nothing new. “We've done troop surges repeatedly in the past,” says Kind. “In fact this will be the fifth troop surge in the last three years alone.”
Kind says that, even as the president delivered his remarks Wednesday night, U.S. Marines were involved in a firefight just a thousand yards outside Bagdad's Green Zone. He fears the Bush plan will “provide more targets” for Iraqi insurgents. And Kind says there's a problem with Iraqi leadership; he notes President Bush's own national security advisor has little confidence in Iraqi president Nouri al-Maliki.
Any chance the president's plan can succeed? Kind, who's been to Iraq three times, says only if benchmarks for Iraqi progress are tied to U.S. troop withdrawals.
Kind says the real solution is political — the Iraqi government must negotiate a solution between Sunnis and Shiites.