Perhaps 500,00 or more American servicemen and woman have been deployed to Iraq over the past 4 years. Thousands of tanks, hmmvws and trucks have been sent there too. They have fought tens of thousands of firefights, been hit with thousands of IEDs and RPG rockets. So let me ask this simple question....In four years of combat against insurgents how many Patriot Anti-Aircraft/Anti-Missile Missiles have American Forces used. I would guess...ZERO...I think that is a great question for Tony Snow...
But tonight President Bush announces we are sending Patriot Missile batteries to the Middle East..
Quoting the speech (provided by Paige) "We are also taking other steps to bolster the security of Iraq and protect American interests in the Middle East. I recently ordered the deployment of an additional carrier strike group to the region. We will expand intelligence sharing - and deploy Patriot air defense systems to reassure our friends and allies."
You don't use a 17 foot long surface launched missile with large radars and other trucks that tracks incoming aircraft, helicopters and long range missiles in an urban street battles. You would use it to defend against incoming Iranian aircraft and Scud missiles.
The mentioning of the deployment of Patriot missiles has nothing to do with the urban battles in Baghdad. It doesn't even make sense to mention the deployment of Patriot batteries to the Middle East in this speech.
If I really believed that sending 20,000 more troops would "win" in Iraq, (I really don't believe that anyone in the U.S. believes we are going to "win" there) I might support it. But American Generals testifying in front of Congress a year ago said that the average insurgent war took 9 years to end and at this point I think Iraq is closer to a civil war than an insurgent war. I really believe that a partial reason for this deployment is to add additional forces to protect our troops and bases in Iraq if we or Israel attacks Iran's nuclear facilities.
There are several reasons to fear and to try to counter the Iranian regime, but President Bush's numerous mistakes in Iraq weaken our efforts there.
UPDATE1: If there is an attack on Iran, I have very serious concerns that the proposed 20,000 more troops or additional Patriot batteries will not be able protect our troops in Iraq or other countries in the region from the violent backlash.
UPDATE2: Could there be deployment orders for Patriot Air Defense units that would have to be publicly announced in the coming days? If Bush didn't mention the Patriot deployments tonight then the news of these air defense unit deployments in the coming days in addition to the expected deployment orders for Army and Marine ground combat units might have raised questions then...