While Democrats try to cater to their anti-war base on the war supp …

… commanders in Iraq are saying that the surge needs to “go through the beginning of next year” – via the WaPo:

The Pentagon announced yesterday that 35,000 soldiers in 10 Army combat brigades will begin deploying to Iraq in August as replacements, making it possible to sustain the increase of U.S. troops there until at least the end of this year.

U.S. commanders in Iraq are increasingly convinced that heightened troop levels, announced by President Bush in January, will need to last into the spring of 2008. The military has said it would assess in September how well its counterinsurgency strategy, intended to pacify Baghdad and other parts of Iraq, is working.

“The surge needs to go through the beginning of next year for sure,” said Lt. Gen. Raymond T. Odierno, the day-to-day commander for U.S. military operations in Iraq. The new requirement of up to 15-month tours for active-duty soldiers will allow the troop increase to last until spring, said Odierno, who favors keeping experienced forces in place for now.

“What I am trying to do is to get until April so we can decide whether to keep it going or not,” he said in an interview in Baghdad last week. “Are we making progress? If we’re not making any progress, we need to change our strategy. If we’re making progress, then we need to make a decision on whether we continue to surge.”

In the meantime, the Democrats are pursuing ‘short-term funding’ options, which, as Heritage explains, are bad news even in the short-term:

The purpose of the supplemental appropriations bill is to provide the military with the resources it needs to conduct operations in Afghanistan and Iraq, and these operations require a reliable and steady stream of funding. A series of very short-term supplemental appropriations will not provide military leaders with the kind of reliable funding they need to manage these operations and other military activities effectively.

A series of short-term supplemental appropriations will require the Department of Defense to shift funds from established accounts to accounts related to the operations in Afghanistan and Iraq in order to make ends meet. This constant juggling of funds between accounts is both disruptive and wasteful. Valuable training exercises will be delayed, and it will be necessary to rob the Air Force and Navy to pay the Army and Marine Corps, imposing incalculable costs on Air Force and Navy readiness.

Finally, one-month or two-month supplemental appropriations bills are inconsistent with an orderly legislative process, and this could have damaging effects on the military. Congress’s history of inefficiency suggests that it is all but certain that Members will fail to enact a series of short-term supplemental appropriations bills in a timely fashion. This failure could cause significant funding gaps that, at some point, would become large enough to preclude the Department of Defense from shifting funds between accounts in the way described above, leaving troops in Afghanistan, Iraq, and elsewhere forced to “stand down” for lack of funding. Congress’s responsibility to legislate in an orderly fashion is a serious one because the consequences of failing to do so can be so damaging. When the stakes involved are the lives and well-being of U.S. troops, Congress needs to do better.

The OMB is against any ‘short-term funding’ bill, too.

Unfortunately, those same Democrats who urged people to ‘listen to the boots on the ground’ when they were talking about Donald Rumsfeld being fired are not prepared to hear anything that goes against their preconceived goal of withdrawal no matter the consequences. Just so long as their Nutroots base is happy.

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