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Escalation at Six Months

Posted on by Karina

Six months ago, in an evening address to the nation, the President announced his plan to send more than 20,000 more troops into Iraq. At the time, Speaker Pelosi and Leader Reid sent a letter to President Bush, urging him to reject his plan to escalate the war in Iraq by increasing troop levels and delaying the ability of the Iraqi government take control of their own future saying, “Rather than deploy additional forces to Iraq, we believe the way forward is to begin the phased redeployment of our forces in the next four to six months, while shifting the principal mission of our forces there from combat to training, logistics, force protection and counter-terror…We want to do everything we can to help Iraq succeed in the future but, like many of our senior military leaders, we do not believe that adding more U.S. combat troops contributes to success.”

Since the President announced his plan to escalate the war in Iraq:

590 U.S. soldiers have died and 3,575 have been wounded in Iraq since January 10, 2007. [icasualties.org; 1/10/07-7/9/07]

Of the wounded, 1,672 suffer injuries too severe to return to duty.

At least 13,463 civilians and members of the Iraqi Security Forces have died since January 2007, according to media reports. [icasualties.org]

Nearly 11,000 people have been killed or wounded in multiple fatality bombings. [Brookings Institution, 7/5/07]

According to an internal military assessment, the U.S. military's plan to secure Baghdad against a rising insurgency is falling far short of its goal. Fewer than one-third of Baghdad's neighborhoods are under the control of U.S. and Iraqi forces. [New York Times, 6/4/07]

Senior military officer, on the U.S. military's Baghdad security plan: “We were way too optimistic.” [New York Times, 6/4/07]

According to one senior military official: “We are starting to see more sophistication and training in their attacks…clearly the trend is going the wrong direction.” [Washington Post, 6/3/07]

The war in Iraq is costing American taxpayers an estimated $10 billion a month. [CRS, 6/28/07]

Iraq's largest Sunni political group announced pulled out of parliament over last month's vote to remove the speaker, Mahmoud al-Mashhadan, a Sunni Arab. [AP, 6/24/07]

No progress has been made on the political benchmarks the Iraqi government was supposed to have met already. Oil sharing legislation, the reversal of deBaathification, new election laws, scheduling of provincial elections, amending the constitution and efforts to disband the militias are all languishing either in parliament or in negotiations among the three parties. [Washington Post, 7/8/07]

The House will have votes this month to end the war and redeploy the troops. This will include a vote on legislation to begin redeployment of our troops within 120 days and to conclude by April 1, 2008, with the exception of those remaining in Iraq to fight terrorists and protect our diplomats. As Speaker Pelosi said yesterday, “the date-certain legislation gives our Republican colleagues another opportunity to join Democrats in heeding the wishes of the American people, who want to wind down this war and bring our troops home.”

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