About Obama’s troop escalation numbers . . .
“Karen DeYoung of the Washington Post now reports, however, that the President granted Secretary of Defense Robert Gates the right to “increase the number by 10 percent, or 3,000 troops, without additional White House approval or announcement.” Think of it, in restaurant terms, as the equivalent of a surge tip. In addition, DeYoung adds that an unnamed “senior military official” claimed “that the final number could go as high as 35,000 to allow for additional support personnel such as engineers, medevac units and route-clearance teams, which comb roads for bombs.” So now, in surge math, we’re at 35,000 U.S. troops. Add in the expected NATO contribution of about 5,000 extra troops and — voilà — you have 40,000 on the button. No wonder the Afghan War commander is reportedly satisfied.“
In “Meet the Commanded-in-Chief” Tom Engelhardt at TomDispatch illumines, among other things, who the new deciders are.