Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Finally....

The blog page was down today for maintence...but apparently whatever they were doing is now done.

The big news these days is the president's planned speech tomorrow night where he'll unveil his new strategy for the War in Iraq. Given everything that has been said already, it's unlikely anything he does say in the nationally televised debate will come as a surprise. We know he wants to increase the number of troops by 20,000 - send more money over to reconstruction and jobs programs - and he'll call for new "benchmarks" that the Iraqi government will be expected to meet so that the withdrawal of American troops can begin.

It is equally a good bet that few are going to find anything positive to say about this "new" strategy. And I would suspect that most, if not all, who might be compelled to comment to this entry will not have positive things to say about the plan.

But the purpose of today's blog is to look at what options Congress actually has - versus what is being said. Certainly this Congress, now controlled by the Democrats, will do more to exercise its constitutional powers of oversight than the previous Congress. But there are limits as to exactly how much it can do.

According to a report from the Center for American Progress...Congress can:
Condition, limit or shape the timing and nature of troop deployments and the missions they are authorized to undertake;
Cap the size of military deployments; and
Prohibit funding for existing or prospective deployments.

But what Congress also has to be watchful of is any steps that might put American troops into harm's way.

That's not to say those currently deployed in Iraq are not now in harm's way. But Congress, in its zeal to flex its new found muscles, needs to be careful in its deliberations over what actions it will take in response to the president's plans not to make matters worse.

2 Comments:

Blogger snorwich said...

How about an article on how Joe Lieberman flip flopped on the issue of more troops. If you don't know what I mean, check out his ten-point plan that he touted in the last month and a half of the campaign. Specifically number six which talks about embedded American troops in Iraqi units.

6:27 PM  
Blogger snorwich said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

6:27 PM  

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