After President Bush announced he's sending more troops to Iraq last night, Manchester Township mother Ophelia Chambliss worried that her son will be sent back to war.

"He's supposed to be getting out (of the Marines) in five months," Chambliss said of her son, who has already served two tours in Iraq. "I feel like he will be (sent back to Iraq) and won't be getting out in that time frame."

Chambliss said sending more troops would be like "throwing good money after bad" be-
cause the sectarian violence in Iraq is not something the U.S. military can fix.

"I don't know if throwing more people at it would solve the problem," she said.

But in a 20-minute national address last night, Bush said he's committed to sending 21,500 additional American troops to Iraq to supplement the deployment of nine more Iraqi army and National Police brigades in an effort to quash sectarian violence and secure Baghdad.

The president also said the country needs a change in strategy because the situation in Iraq is "unacceptable to the American people -- and it is unacceptable to me."

"Where mistakes have been made, the responsibility rests with me," Bush said. Bush said the new strategy will work because of better cooperation from the Iraqi government, and the added American and Iraqi troops will give the military the "force levels we need" to clear and hold neighborhoods that have been held by insurgents.


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20,000 not enough? Red Lion resident Randy Phillips, a U.S. Navy veteran who served in Vietnam, said he agrees with Bush that the military needs to send more troops to Iraq in an effort to win the war. If the military pulls out of Iraq, Phillips said, he thinks it's more likely terrorists will strike on American soil.

But Phillips said he thinks it might take something more like 100,000 troops to make a big difference in Iraq.

"That is a big country," Phillips said. "To go in there with another 20,000 troops -- that is just a handful."

Bill Heltzel of West Manchester Township said he doesn't believe the U.S. should ever have gone to Iraq. But Heltzel said now that the country is there, it should do whatever it takes to win -- even if that means sending more troops.

"I always thought that if you go into a war, you're in a war to win -- not to pussyfoot around," Heltzel said.

Gayle Shearer of Spring Grove said she doesn't agree with Bush that sending more troops is the answer. But she doesn't think pulling out of Iraq is a good option, either.

"If we pull out now, the country is going to go to pot," Shearer said. "I think the Iraqi government needs to step up and take control."

Glenn Hall of Mount Joy said he thinks it's time for American troops to "hit the ground running" out of Iraq instead of sending more troops.

"I think (Bush) is out to lunch," Hall said. "Why can't we fire this guy?"

-- Reach Brock Parker at 505-5434 or bparker@yorkdispatch.com.
Senators, representative respond
Pennsylvania's U.S. senators and York County's congressman had mixed reactions to President George Bush's announcement that he's committing more than 20,000 additional troops to Iraq. The following are portions of statements released by U.S. Sens. Arlen Specter and Bob Casey and Rep. Todd Platts after Bush's speech last night:

---  Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa.: "In President Bush's speech tonight and in my meeting today with National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley, a compelling justification for an increase in troop levels in Iraq was not made. An escalation in Iraq is a plan to repeat past mistakes and not the change in course that is needed."

---  Rep. Todd Platts, R-York County: "While I support the deployment of additional troops deemed necessary to fight al-Qaeda and related terrorists in Iraq and to further train and assist Iraqi security forces, the lead forces in ending sectarian violence in Iraq must be Iraqi. I am thus encouraged that the new strategy for winning the battle for Baghdad security and stability involves the deployment of three Iraqi battalions for each American battalion."

---  Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa.: "After listening to the President's speech, I remain skeptical that an additional 20,000 troops will produce victory because the professional military advisers have said those troops will not win the
war and the record shows that Iraqis cannot be relied upon to uphold their obligations under the plan."