Any chance of this breaking before Election Day or are the surprises over?
Trace the author of the Times piece fcr a start.
Walter Russell Mead, Michael Gordon, and Ronald Steel participate in a lunchtime discussion on U.S. foreign and defense policy.
"And Michael Gordon, who is somebody who all of us have learned a great deal from lately, and I hope will continue."
"Were going to try to talk about where things are going, where American foreign and military policy is going, how its been changed by whats happening in Iraq. And Im going to ask both of our panelists to be prescriptive as well as predictive, a little bit."
"And Id like to start with Michael and ask, where do you see, as a result of this war in Iraqwhat impact is that having on sort of the Rumsfeld plans for transformation, American military doctrine? What use is the military making of the experience that its having over there?"
MICHAEL R. GORDON: Well, you know, the war, understandably, is having a huge impact on the military, particularly the ground forces. And they are, of necessity, changing the way they do things. It would have been better if some of these changes had been made several years ago but, you know, heres where we are.
GORDON: Well, you know, the Army generals talk onto their retired colleagues about increasing the Army, which is around 500,000 now, you know, anywhere from 50,000 to 60,000. That said, the Army doesnt propose doing that formally. Theyre trying to safeguard their modernization budget. I think if they could get, you know, more forces and all of the weapons in the pipeline, that they would take that. Im not sure the administrations prepared to give them that, because there are trade-offs there."
If in fact, this was a story to get added forces/money, and the graph would be made public to influence a decision to deploy said numbers which has been consistently denied in the past by Bush/Rumsfeld as necessary, whereas; Gordon might be doing a favor for a specific General by inserting this classified story on the need for more focus on the number of troops to get the job done...a Democratic talking point.
Sorry, too tierd to do more tonight..maybe someone else can pick up, discard or cover another aspect.