Halfway senators profess to be in favor of counterterrorism in Iraq, but oppose the surge that is the only effective form of counterterrorism. Since al-Qaida is waging a terrorist insurgency in Iraq, it must be combated with manpower-intensive counterinsurgency operations. The terror group does not have the consideration to form large bases vulnerable to B-52 attacks.
The training mission would be just as endangered. Our trainers in Iraq are dependent on combat troops for the support structure, force protection and rapid-reaction capability that they provide, and as a practical matter, working alongside our combat troops is the best training for the Iraqis.
As for the "diplomatic surge" that would replace the military surge, the administration already is fostering Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, forging tighter ties with the Gulf states and meeting with the Iranians on and off to ask them to stop killing our troops -- to no avail.
Sen. Alexander says, "It is inexcusable for United States senators to be lecturing Baghdad about being in a political stalemate, yet we can't come up with a consensus ourselves." Except there is no consensus to be had. We either continue with the surge, or give up on the war. Senators trying to find a halfway solution entice the headline writers, but demonstrate only their own self-involved irrelevance.