WSJ's Pollock on why increasing troops "not a hard thing to do": just cut breaks and extend tours of duty
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On the December 16 edition of Fox News' Journal Editorial Report, after Wall Street Journal editorial board member Jason Riley claimed that it would be "very difficult," politically, for President Bush to increase troop levels in Iraq, fellow Journal board member Robert Pollock countered: "[A]ll that means is decreasing the length of some breaks from tours of duty and increasing the lengths of some tours of duty." Pollock added: "That's not a hard thing to do."
From the December 16 edition of Fox News' Journal Editorial Report:
PAUL GIGOT (host and Journal editorial page editor): The president is never going to win over the people who didn't want to go to war in the first place or want to get out.
But there are people, Jason, that -- [Sens.] John McCain [R-AZ], Joe Lieberman [CT], and some others -- who have that criticism that [American Enterprise Institute resident scholar Frederick] Kagan has, which is we haven't been prosecuting this war in the right way. We haven't been doing enough to win. Those, it seems to me, are the people, politically, the president can't afford to lose. And they've been saying, "More troops." So why not move in that direction?
RILEY: Well, I'd like to, personally. I think the president would like to. But I just think that the political reality here would make it very difficult for Bush to do that. Kagan's plan calls for increasing troop levels by some 35,000 over the next two years. In '07? In the run-up to a presidential election? And when congressmen --
POLLOCK: All that means is decreasing -- all that means is decreasing the length of some breaks from tours of duty and increasing the lengths of some tours of duty. That's not a hard thing to do when you've got 1.4 million troops.