- The new head of U.S. Central command (which covers the Middle East) is a Navy man.
- We're moving a second carrier group into the Persian Gulf by the end of March as a warning to Syria and Iran.
- We attacked an Iranian Liason Office (that Iran wanted to upgrade to consulate) in northern Iraq and took five prisoners.
By best Iraq war call was to say in December '01/January '02 that we'd probably go to war with Iraq. I mostly remember that because it was in discussion with a conservative friend who thought I was crazy. (My other correct calls were fairly standard stuff. My wrong calls were also fairly run of the mill.)
I don't think it's imminent, but I think the administration is getting ready. I'll do an analysis at some point later on Congressional Democratic efforts, but the important thing is that we lay the groundwork for effective opposition. I'm pleased with the flurry of effort against the surge, including some measures with teeth. However, I do want us to avoid overplaying our hand. I expect attempts to defund the surge won't be particularly effective, although they may be a useful step for escalation. If we can get the votes, I do buy Kevin Drum's argument that there are risks to taking a middle ground between political attacks and actually calling for withdrawal. I'm happy to see various proposals debated, but beyond the strictly political no-confidence vote, the main thing I'd like to see is an end to the back door draft. Congress has authority under the constitution to regulate the military and preventing the administration from calling up reservists for a third time seems like great politics and good substance. Murtha is considering trying to shut down some of our more notorious prison camps, not sure we can effectively do that via funding, but it wouldn't hurt.
Anyways, Congress is on the case and threw questions on Iran to Bush administration officials post-surge-speech. Stopping the next war, unless we get a lot of Republican support, will probably require a Constitutional crisis. I'm all for it. Congress's ability to declare war has been meaningless for far too long.