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Is Now The Time For More Troops?

This column was written by CBS News Early Show co-anchor Harry Smith.
President Bush has consulted and consulted, and the leaks indicate that he will say America needs more troops in Iraq.

Twenty thousand? Thirty thousand? We'll find out on Wednesday night.

How many times did we ask the commanders in Iraq if they had enough troops? We asked those questions from the early days, right after the fall of Baghdad. We asked if there were enough when the insurgency formed. We asked in Year One and Year Two and Year Three.

Now that Year Four of the war draws near, can it be that America needs more troops there?

We've seen American troops perform brilliantly in Iraq, winning the trust of the locals and bringing peace to desperately violent places. But the minute they left and the Iraqis took over, the violence returned.

The Iraq Study Group says the situation in the country is dire and deteriorating. We keep hearing that there are no new strategies available. A surge of U.S. troops sounds like applying a Band-Aid on a patient that needs major surgery.

Harry's daily commentary can be heard on many CBS Radio News affiliates across the country.