Interesting article if mildly over the top in title.

Nov. 19 (Bloomberg) -- Senator John McCain said U.S. troops are ``fighting and dying for a failed policy'' in Iraq and must get enough reinforcements to ensure a military victory.

McCain said that while deploying more troops to Iraq would put a ``terrible strain'' on the U.S. military, ``there's only one thing worse, and that is defeat.''

``And we've been losing,'' the Arizona Republican said on ABC's ``This Week'' program.

McCain, a 70-year-old Vietnam veteran who is exploring a bid for the presidency in 2008, said a U.S. failure in Iraq would have ``catastrophic'' consequences, emboldening terrorists and spreading instability in the region. McCain didn't say how many more troops should be sent in. Previously he has called for an additional 20,000 personnel.

The U.S. has about 141,000 military personnel in Iraq and General John P. Abizaid, the top U.S. commander in the Middle East, told McCain at a Senate Armed Service Committee hearing last week that there is no immediate need for more troops even as violence -- and U.S. military deaths -- has been rising.

U.S. policy in Iraq may be at a crossroads with Democrats winning a majority in Congress Nov. 7 in part because of public dissatisfaction with President George W. Bush's management of the war and a bipartisan commission getting ready recommendations on a future course in the conflict. Bush has rejected setting any deadlines for the U.S. presence in Iraq.

While McCain has been urging deployment of more troops to stabilize Iraq, leaders of the new Democratic majority in Congress are calling for the U.S. to begin withdrawing at least some personnel over the next four to six months to pressure the Iraqi government into taking more responsibility for their country's security.

No Troops

Representative Steny Hoyer, the Maryland Democrat who was elected last week to the No. 2 House post in the next session of the Congress, said the situation in Iraq may be past the of point of resolution through more force.

The government of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki has failed to do what's needed to end sectarian violence, Hoyer said in a separate interview on ABC. ``If you have a failed government, our continuing to prop up that failed government will not ultimately succeed,'' he said.

In addition, ``there are no troops to increase with,'' he said.

Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, who negotiated the end to the Vietnam War, told the British Broadcasting Company that a decisive military victory in Iraq is unlikely and that the U.S. course must be redefined.


``If you mean by clear military victory an Iraqi government that can be established and whose writ runs across the whole country, that gets the civil war under control and sectarian violence under control in a time period that the political processes of the democracies will support, I don't believe that is possible,'' Kissinger said in an interview broadcast today.

``But I don't believe that the alternative is between military victory as it had been defined previously, or total withdrawal,'' said Kissinger, who served in the administrations of Republican Presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford.

McCain said he disagreed.

``You can't have a political solution unless you have a military solution,'' McCain said. ``There's never been one in history.''

There were about 180 attacks a day against Iraqi government and U.S. targets during October, Lieutenant General Michael D. Maples, director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, told the Senate Armed Services Committee on Nov. 15. There were 99 U.S. military personnel killed in combat during the month, the highest monthly death toll in two years. More than 3,200 Americans have died in Iraq since the U.S. invasion, with 2,481 killed in action, according to Defense Department figures.

Bombings and sectarian battles have continued, with the latest coming this morning. At least 53 people were killed in bombings and shooting across Iraq and the country's deputy health minister was kidnapped from his home in Baghdad, Agence France-Presse reported.

Maliki on Nov. 17 asked the United Nations Security Council to extend the mandate of U.S.-led military forces in Iraq through 2007, citing a need for protection from terrorists.