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On the anniversary of "last throes," Bush sends more troops to quell Iraq. This is a VERY bad sign. Here's why...

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NOTE FROM JOHN: AJ is an ex military intelligence officer now writing on AMERICAblog about security issues. He has extensive experience on Iraq policy both here and in country.

CNN reports that 1,500 troops are being moved from Kuwait into Iraq's Anbar province, the Sunni stronghold in the west. WaPo and NYT put it at either 3,500, or a full brigade. (The discrepancy, I think, is that CNN is reporting the troops that have already moved; NYT and WaPo are reporting the total number in Kuwait that will eventually be deployed.)

This is a tremendously bad sign, and indicates that Anbar province, and likely the city of Ramadi in particular, are beyond out of control.

There is no indication that the move is in response to any particular increase in numbers of fighters from other parts of Iraq or neighboring countries, meaning that the surge in violence is home-grown. Although the insurgent learning curve has thus far been surprisingly gradual, they're getting better at their deadly craft and we don't appear to have an answer.

The articles also indicate a disturbing trend of Al Qa'ida recruitment successes among the indigenous Sunni population. As that occurs, huge swaths of western Iraq will become terrorist havens, camps, training areas, etc. If we can't control the cities, we're certainly not controlling the countryside.

In a particularly awful irony, exactly a year ago our Vice President declared that the insurgency was in its last throes. Unreal. Of course, when a government (or occupier) fails to provide any kind of security or basic services for the people, it shouldn't be surprising when they get pissed, lash out, and turn to anyone that can protect and serve them. Call it the Hamas model.

Most importantly, though, if the strategy being implemented with 130,000 troops isn't working, why would it work with 3,500 more? Deficient strategy. Deficient Secretary of Defense. Deficient presidency.

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