Socialist Worker

George Bush sends even more troops to Iraq

Issue No. 2042

In the US they are calling it “surge creep”. George Bush plans to boost the number of US troops in his “surge on Baghdad” to 30,000 – up from the 21,500 announced earlier this year.

The US department of defence has announced it would need a further 2,200 military police to cope with the numbers of Iraqis rounded up in the country’s capital.

General Benjamin Mixon, the commander of US forces in northern Iraq, is also demanding more troops to deal with a 30 percent rise in attacks in Diyala province.

More US soldiers will also join the thousands of extra Nato troops fighting the growing insurgency in Afghanistan.

The US military planned the surge in Baghdad to last until this summer. Robert Gates, the new secretary of defence, then announced that the mission would be complete by autumn.

Now the commander in Iraq, General David Petraeus, has predicted the mission would be complete by winter. But senior US commanders in Iraq have declared that they expect troop numbers to keep rising “at least” until the spring of 2008.

The US claims that its mission in Baghdad is to halt the simmering civil war, yet the levels of attacks and sectarian killings continue to rise.

The troops have made it easier for death squads to move in.

As the soldiers enter Sunni and Shia neighbourhoods, the fighters who defend their homes are either arrested or killed. This has left neighbourhoods defenceless and open to sectarian gangs.

Claims that the surge is helping to bring security to the capital were shown up as a lie as soldiers gunned down a family in Sadr City, killing a man and his two young daughters, and wounding his son.

The family accidentally drove near US troops as they were conducting a “hearts and minds” operation in the working class Shia area.

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Sat 17 Mar 2007, 00:00 GMT
Issue No. 2042
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