Iraq Is More Than A Numbers Game

Gen. John Abizaid, the top U.S. commander in the Middle East, testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2006 before a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on the situation in Iraq. (AP Photo/Dennis Cook) AP

This column was written by CBS News Early Show co-anchor Harry Smith.
More troops? Fewer troops? What's the answer to success in Iraq? It was more than a little disheartening to hear Gen. John Abizaid admit last week that America could have used more boots on the ground after the initial invasion of Iraq.

People who asked that question back then were rebuked, and worse. And the answer we always got from the Pentagon was, "The commanders on the ground let us know if we have adequate troops."

Once I remember asking Donald Rumsfeld, "Has it ever occurred to you that your commanders are trying to tell you what you want to hear, and perhaps not what they really believe?" Seems to me Abizaid confirmed that on Capitol Hill last week.

So here we are 45 months into the war, and the debate goes on. John McCain says more troops. Others say we need a timetable to withdraw. Henry Kissinger says military victory is impossible.

In the meantime, Iraqis are dying at 100 or more each day.



Harry's daily commentary can be heard on many CBS Radio News affiliates across the country.
By Harry Smith
  • Arnie Seipel

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