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Murtha's Slow Bleed Plan Going Nowhere

According to the WaPo, it's stalling not because it was a bad idea but because Murtha bumbled its introduction:

The plan was bold: By tying President Bush's $100 billion war request to strict standards of troop safety and readiness, Democrats believed they could grab hold of Iraq war policy while forcing Republicans to defend sending troops into battle without the necessary training or equipment.


But a botched launch by the plan's author, Rep. John P. Murtha (Pa.), has united Republicans and divided Democrats, sending the latter back to the drawing board just a week before scheduled legislative action, a score of House Democratic lawmakers said last week.

"If this is going to be legislation that's crafted in such a way that holds back resources from our troops, that is a non-starter, an absolute non-starter," declared Rep. Jim Matheson (Utah), a leader of the conservative Blue Dog Democrats.

Freshman Rep. Joe Sestak (D-Pa.), a retired Navy admiral who was propelled into politics by the Iraq war, said Murtha could still salvage elements of his strategy, but Sestak, an outspoken war opponent, is "a bit wary" of a proposal that would influence military operations.

"I was recently in the military, and I have to speak from that experience," Sestak said.

The story of Murtha's star-crossed plan illustrates the Democratic Party's deep divisions over the Iraq war and how the new House majority has yet to establish firm control over Congress. From the beginning, Murtha acted on his own to craft a complicated legislative strategy on the war, without consulting fellow Democrats. When he chose to roll out the details on a liberal, antiwar Web site on Feb. 15, he caught even Pelosi by surprise while infuriating Democrats from conservative districts.


Comments (10)

Murtha wants our troops pro... (Below threshold)
brianD:

Murtha wants our troops properly trained and equipped when they land in Okinawa.

From the WaPo article:... (Below threshold)

From the WaPo article:

To be sent to battle, troops would have to have had a year's rest between combat tours. Soldiers in Iraq could not have their tours extended beyond a year there. And the Pentagon's "stop-loss" policy, which prevents some officers from leaving the military when their service obligations are up, would end. Troops would have to be trained in counterinsurgency and urban warfare and be sent overseas with the equipment they used in training.

Imagine the audacity of Murtha for suggesting that troops should have a years rest between tours, and should be adequately trained for urban combat? Doesn't he understand that to support the troops you have to be in favor of sending them into battle without adequate training and reducing their off-time between tours? The guy must be Al Qaeda.


Where was Murtha when Marin... (Below threshold)
Zelsdorf Ragshaft III:

Where was Murtha when Marines were taking losses on Iwo Jima? Were they trained well enough? Did they have the right equipment? What thke coward Murtha suggests in unconstitutional. Congress is empowered to pay for war, declare war and that is it. They do not get to decide how or with what we fight. That is left to the Commander in Chief, not a bunch of politically motivated liars who can no longer be called loyal opposition. I'll bet Murtha wants the military to buy the equipment he thinks they need from his brother.

Larkin:Imagine... (Below threshold)
marc:

Larkin:

Imagine the audacity of Murtha for suggesting that troops should have a years rest between tours, and should be adequately trained for urban combat?

Imagine... the audacity! Well not so much.

In addition the US Army's Field Manual 90-10, "Military Operations in Urbanized Terrain" has been used for over 2 decades.

Imagine that!

The Joint Readiness Training Center's (JRTC) cutting-edge Military Operations on Urbanized Terrain (MOUT) facility has been in operation since 1993.

Imagine!

Murtha's plan is a pretext ... (Below threshold)
robert the original:

Murtha's plan is a pretext for defunding and lowering the troop level in Iraq - and he said as much.

Pretext? You remember pretext, that's like when Hitler staged a false raid on a German radio station using some German prisoners made to look like Polish sympathizers, after which he invaded Poland.

Murtha's plan is the same except that it is a whole lot more obvious.

A year's rest? Can anything be more obvious than that?

Even most Democrats, reading the polls, are not going for anything as bad as that.

The Tinkerbell Plan:

Withdraw the troops to Okinawa, then close your eyes and believe.

Here is the latest press re... (Below threshold)
marc:

Here is the latest press release from Public Affairs Office, Camp Victory


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
RELEASE No. 20070226-02
Feb. 26, 2007

Fardh Al-Qanoon: Security and assistance operations on the upswing
By Master Sgt. Dave Larsen, 1st Cavalry Division Public Affairs

BAGHDAD - Sixty-nine company-level or higher operations by Multi-National Division - Baghdad and Iraqi security forces have netted 63 weapons caches, including an anti-aircraft weapon, armor-piercing rounds, rocket-propelled grenade launchers, improvised explosive device-making materials, mortar rounds, TNT and thousands of rounds of small arms ammunition. One-hundred sixty-seven suspects have been detained since the security plan for the Iraqi capital, Operation Fardh Al-Qanoon (Enforcing the Law), began Feb. 14.

More than 32,000 security patrols have been conducted in and around the Iraqi capital, aimed at improving the security situation,
with more than half of those completed by Iraqi police and national police forces, according to Brig. Gen. John F. Campbell, deputy
commanding general for maneuver for MND-Baghdad.

"Even with ten days into the security plan, it's still too early to talk trends," he said. "Still, Iraqi and coalition commanders at all levels remain cautiously optimistic."

Reporting of sectarian murders is at the lowest level in almost a year. Improvised explosive device attacks have declined by more than
20 percent. Reporting indicates security operations are frustrating the Al Qaeda networks' efforts to resupply and hindering their movement
throughout Baghdad. Still, Al Qaeda Iraq remains determined to drive the country into further violence.

This intent is seen played out in recent Al Qaeda -conducted attacks. As their freedom of movement throughout Baghdad is reduced, Al
Qaeda has resorted to use of suicide vest attacks against innocent civilian gatherings, like the attack outside a university Feb. 25 and
earlier this week against a Shiite memorial service.

As Al Qaeda terrorists adapt to the on-going operations, their safe havens in areas on the outskirts of Baghdad, in places such as
Tarmiyah, are threatened.

Coalition force presence in Tarmiyah, a long-standing staging area for Al Qaeda attacks, has increased over the past three months. In
response, elements of Al Qaeda staged a complex suicide car bomb attack against a combat outpost last week in Tarmiyah. The attack had the
opposite effect Al Qaeda intended by attracting greater security focus in the area.

Elements of Muqtada al Sadr's Jaysh al Mahdi seem to be practicing a policy of non-interference with Operation Fardh Al Qanoon. Security forces see this as a combination of senior militia leadership departing Baghdad during the surge, Sadr's call for Iraqi unity and a wait-and-see attitude on the part of remaining militia members. It is not clear at this point to what extent the Iraqi population is simply tired of militias.

A statement, attributed to Sadr, was read by a Sadr spokesman in Sadr City Feb. 25, condemning the shedding of Iraqi blood, a clear reference to the death squads accused of adding to the sectarian violence.

Another positive development seen during on-going security operations has been the persistence of senior Iraqi leadership holding
their government, their ministries and their fellow civilian and military leadership accountable for fulfilling promises to the
population. Atmospheric reports indicate that the increase in security presence throughout Baghdad has given the population hope; a hope the
Iraqi government seeks to sustain.

Each day there are several large-scale operations on-going throughout the city as part of Operation Fardh al-Qanoon. Among them,
Operation Polar Iron, teamed up troops from the 2nd Battalion of the 5th Cavalry Regiment, 4th Battalion of the 31st Infantry Regiment and 4th
Battalion of the 4th Brigade, 6th Iraqi Army Division in a clearing operation in a predominately Sunni area southwest of the Iraqi capital. The operation detained 32 suspects Feb. 17.

Another, Operation Arrowhead Strike VI ran from Feb. 14-22 in the predominately Sh'ia northeastern Baghdad neighborhoods of Shaab and Ur. The operation, led by Soldiers from the 3rd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, and the 2nd Brigade Combat Team of the 82nd Airborne Division, uncovered eight weapons caches and detained 11 suspects.

In western Baghdad, Operation Daredevil conducted by Soldiers from 2nd Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment, found and disarmed nine
different roadside bombs, saving an unknown number of lives by making the roadways safer for Iraqi residents and security forces.

The first 10 days of the security plan's implementation hasn't been without violent terrorist attacks, Campbell said. The largest
attack against U.S. forces came Feb. 19 when a combat outpost - a small unit outpost in a remote rural area north of Baghdad experienced a
coordinated enemy assault. The unit held the outpost during the battle in which two Soldiers lost their lives and five others were seriously
wounded requiring evacuation.

Despite the terrorists' use of a suicide vehicle bomb, rocket-propelled grenades and a steady stream of small arms fire, the U.S. defenders of the outpost maintained security and were able to fight back and detain seven suspected gunmen. Many of the defenders received minor wounds and were able to return to their duty after being treated, without evacuation.

"Iraqis have shown resolve," Campbell said. "Together, we'll hold the ground we've gained thus far, and we will continue to push extremist elements out of Baghdad neighborhoods."

Even as security operations have picked up across the Iraqi capital, MND-B continues to work with Iraqi governmental representatives on civil military operations designed to improve living conditions, infrastructure and quality of life.

"Our operations to improve security are coupled with equally important actions we are taking to advance good governance, to stimulate economic growth, and to build on the public sensing that life must go on in spite of the intimidations by militias or the brutal attacks by terrorists," said Brig. Gen. Vincent Brooks, the deputy commanding general for support who oversees the command's efforts in the areas of governance and economic development.

One such initiative is on-going in the Babil province, south of the Iraqi capital, where agriculture is the staple of the local economies.

"More than 35 miles of canals have been cleaned and repaired," said Navy Cmdr. Michael Sanchez, a civil military plans officer with MND-B. "This aids in irrigation, the reduction of flooding and helps prevent erosion, affecting more than 600 families served by the Mahawil Canal system in Babil."

Sanchez said the civil military operation is a joint effort involving local leaders, the provincial government and the BabilProvincial Reconstruction Team and the 4th Airborne Brigade Combat Team of the 25th Infantry Division, the southernmost unit of Multi-national
Division Baghdad.

In western Baghdad, Sanchez said a basic nursing course operating from the Radwaniya Civil Military Operations Center held its final examination and graduated 18 Iraqi students in its inaugural class
this week.

In eastern Baghdad, Sanchez said future civil military operations could be forthcoming, as an economics assessment team worked throughout the week in Baghdad's Adhamiyah district.

"The team members assessed business pportunities in the district," he said. Sanchez added that business leaders also met on the west side of the Iraqi capital. "More than 24 business leaders in the Mansour area met for the first time to discuss the formation of the Mansour Chamber of Commerce,"
Sanchez said.

Just 10 days into the implementation of Fardh Al-Qanoon, Campbell said the progress and successes of the plan won't be seen in a matter of days or weeks, but rather in months.

"It will take time," he said. "There will be some tough days, but we are committed to our Iraqi comrades in arms and to this operation."

Does Larkin have the slight... (Below threshold)
Ran:

Does Larkin have the slightest CLUE about what he's saying? Why do I keep feeling he's only repeating talking points from Kos? *Brings to mind someone's kid interrupting when adults are talking*

Even most Democrats, rea... (Below threshold)

Even most Democrats, reading the polls, are not going for anything as bad as that.

Dead wrong on that Robert according to a new poll.

Would you support or oppose Congress trying to block Bush's plan by creating new rules on troop training and rest time that would limit the number of troops available for duty in Iraq?

Support: 58 percent
Oppose: 39 percent

The poll also shows that opposition to escalation continues to grow. In the latest poll, Americans oppose sending more U.S. forces to Iraq by a margin of 67 percent to 32 percent. That's up from 65/34 on January 19 and 61/36 on January 10.

Larkin,You use a c... (Below threshold)
Robert the original:

Larkin,

You use a crazy lib site far to the left of the Washington Post as evidence?

The internals of your poll are unknown except that they admit to greatly oversampling black voters. To oversample black voters is to oversample Democrats.

You are not worth whatever Soros is paying you.

larkin and murtha...which o... (Below threshold)
moseby:

larkin and murtha...which one is smarter than a 5th grader?




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