Bush administration critics sometimes say that our military is playing “whack-a-mole” in Iraq, moving troops from one troubled area to another, only to see trouble to reappear in the areas from which we have moved them. Most of these critics are not arguing in good faith — they’re vexed not that we’re whacking too few moles but that we’re whacking any.
Nonetheless, there seems to be some truth to the criticism, as this story in the Washington Times about al Qaeda’s growing strength in Ramadi and other parts of Anbar province suggests. As I’ve said before, our most compelling reason for remaining in Iraq is to prevent al Qaeda from gaining a territorial foothold. Therefore, it strikes me as imperative that we deal promptly with the situation in the Ramadi area, either by pulling troops out of Baghdad or sending additional troops to Iraq, as Senator McCain advocates.
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