You’re going to hear it on the Sunday morning news shows: “The Keane-Kagan plan.” From Fred Barnes in the Weekly Standard with “We’re going to win – The president finally has a plan for victory”:
Why would the Keane-Kagan plan succeed where earlier efforts failed? It envisions a temporary addition of 50,000 troops on the ground in Iraq. The initial mission would be to secure and hold the mixed Baghdad neighborhoods of Shia and Sunni residents where most of the violence occurs. Earlier efforts had cleared many of those sections of the city without holding them. After which, the mass killings resumed. Once neighborhoods are cleared, American and Iraqi troops in this plan would remain behind, living day-to-day among the population. Local government leaders would receive protection and rewards if they stepped in to provide basic services. Safe from retaliation by terrorists, residents would begin to cooperate with the Iraqi government. The securing of Baghdad would be followed by a full-scale drive to pacify the Sunni-majority Anbar province.“Could” being the operative word. Plus, I’m skeptical that Americans would support another injection of troops into Iraq. Of course, a new show of force could also send the message that we’re in this fight for the long run which could demoralize the insurgency and serve notice to other terrorist groups. Once again, “could.”
The truth is that not all of Iraq needs to be addressed by an increased American presence. Most of southern Iraq and all of the Kurdish north are close to being free of sectarian violence. It's Baghdad that has become the "center of gravity" for the insurgency, according to Keane. And it could be brought under control by the end of 2007.