More US Troops Needed if Anbar Insurgency to be Defeated

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Yesterday’s Washington Post reported that Anbar province in western Iraq is all but lost to the insurgency (which is dominated, there, by Al Qaeda in Iraq). Today the senior commander of U.S. forces in western Iraq, seeking to counter that assessment, succeeds only in confirming it (AP).

“I’ve got the force levels I need right now,” [Marine Maj. Gen. Richard C.] Zilmer said. “My mission out here, along with the rest of the force, is to develop the ISF (Iraqi security forces), and I think we have the appropriate force levels to do that. Now, if that mission statement changes — if there is seen a larger role for coalition forces out here to win that insurgency fight — then that is going to change the metrics of what we need out here.”

Meaning he’d need more (American) troops–in addition to the 30,000 currently in Anbar. Does the US have the appetite for a military escalation there? Unlikely.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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