Everybody's Heard About the Surge

The White House finished its background briefing on tonight's Iraq SURGE speech a couple hours ago. Unsurprisingly, it impressed the National Review!

Mona Cheran reveals -- exclusively! -- that the speech will call for "five new American brigades" in Baghdad and that the Prez will "ask for a larger army." But Cheran either didn't pick up on or didn't bother to report what Newsweek learned at their background briefing: the Surge is a complete joke.

Yet two senior White House officials, who declined to be named discussing sensitive policy matters in advance of the speech, tell NEWSWEEK that the president's approach will be far more cautious. The White House expects all the new troops to be deployed in Iraq. But they won't go until the Iraqis have met several conditions--or benchmarks--to get the extra help they say they need.

...which "could take as long as six months." This will certainly be a very exciting speech. The only thing we're more excited about is the Democrats' "symbolic vote against" an open-ended six-month non-plan contingent on the Iraqi puppet government meeting certain vague benchmarks.

Preview of Tonight's Speech [The Corner]

A Stagger, More Than a Surge [Newsweek]


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