That's some pretty basic math. Any second grader should be able to grasp that concept although some alert second graders might ask why the option to keep the number the same as it is seems to be missing.
My guess is that President Bush commissioned that study group to look at changes in strategy and thus the option to maintain current troop levels wasn't on the table to begin with.
Somewhere I read this week that President Bush has ruled out the option to reduce troop strength to zero. So that leaves only two options if the Republican talking point prior to the November election is to be valid. If we aren't "staying the course" and we aren't "cutting and running" then we have to either increase troop numbers or decrease them. Pretty basic math.
That argument strangely rings some familiar bells for me. It seems to me that this was how Richard Nixon handled the Vietnam War during his 5 years of oversight of that war. In fact Bush seems to be using Nixon's strategy now. I haven't read the speech, but I read that Bush was in Vietnam this week and blamed the American loss of the Vietnam War on Congress.
Why do I get the impression that he didn't say that to improve diplomatic relations with the nation of Vietnam?
Why do I get the impression instead that Bush was opening the door, practically inviting the new congress to do the same thing with the Iraq War, cut the funding and take all the blame for the loss down through history.
Hey, Nixon was no better at basic math than Bush is, but Congress's approach worked in Vietnam. Let's give it a try in Iraq!