Bush Opposes Troop Surge

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Well, he used to. Hat tip to the video-archiving freedom-haters at Think Progress:

Some Americans ask me, if completing the mission is so important, why don't you send more troops? If our commanders on the ground say we need more troops, I will send them. But our commanders tell me they have the number of troops they need to do their job. Sending more Americans would undermine our strategy of encouraging Iraqis to take the lead in this fight. And sending more Americans would suggest that we intend to stay forever, when we are, in fact, working for the day when Iraq can defend itself and we can leave. As we determine the right force level, our troops can know that I will continue to be guided by the advice that matters: the sober judgment of our military leaders.

That was 18 months ago, when an escalation might have had more of an impact. Curiously, some people ask why this "surge" idea isn't being taken seriously. (Another reason for that here.)

NEXT: I've Met the Enemy, and He Is Us

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  1. Ok, I’ll bite. Bush said in that quote:

    If our commanders on the ground say we need more troops, I will send them.

    and

    His commanders on the ground now say we need more troops.

    Nothing to see here, please disperse.

  2. And if my commanders on the ground say otherwise, then I’ll just, well, change commanders.

  3. His commanders on the ground were saying they need more troops throughout 2003-2005, as it turns out. Bush was lying, again – the combat commanders, from one star on down to Lts, have been talking about inadquate troop strength for years.

  4. I saw McCain and Lieberman on C-Span today speaking at AEI. Lieberman was like a man possessed (though more like a robot possessed): he did not want to give an inch on his support for Bush and the war effort. These two felt that troops need to be increased, American public be damned. Lieberman was slinging hyperbole left and right, declaring that our situation is like the 1930’s, that actually it’s more like post-Pearl Harbor, that the American people need to be ‘educated’, that we simply had to win…There was little critique of Bush’s bogus handling of the war (though I admit there were nods to it ‘what we have been doing is not working’) and I think he actually said that he prayed that the incoming Democrats would not try to check the President on anything concerning Iraq. This guy, having won his recent election, will never back down on this I’m afraid. He will just keep spinning, and spinning, and spinning.

  5. His commanders on the ground were saying they need more troops throughout 2003-2005, as it turns out.

    Google this issue, and what you see is the media finding (ex-)generals to say we need more troops when Bush isn’t planning to send any more, and then finding (ex-)generals to say more troops won’t do any good when Bush is planning to send more troops.

  6. It isn’t the troop strength, it’s the strategy. More troops earlier on wouldn’t have made any more difference than they are going to make now. The war against nobody can’t be won. Either we identify an enemy soon, or we’re lost. I’d start with all of the Sunnis that got uptight last week over the hanging.

  7. Huh said =

    “Huh | January 8, 2007, 4:37pm | #
    Ok, I’ll bite. Bush said in that quote:
    If our commanders on the ground say we need more troops, I will send them.
    and
    His commanders on the ground now say we need more troops.

    not really dude.

    He fired the ones who said more troops were bad, and replaced them with people who thought it was a good idea. AFTER having fired generals who told him they needed more a couple years ago.

    Abazaid and Casey are out, and 2 new people are in charge of Centcom and Iraq at the moment.

    http://today.reuters.com/news/articlenews.aspx?type=topNews&storyID=2007-01-05T181313Z_01_L308031_RTRUKOC_0_US-IRAQ-1.xml&src=010507_1328_TOPSTORY_policy_shift_ahead

    it helps to pay attention sometimes

    Whatever happened to Gen. “300,000 troops will be needed” Shinseki?
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eric_Shinseki#Tensions_with_Rumsfeld_while_Chief_of_the_Army

    It’s emblematic of everything thats happened since 2003. They never listened to “the commanders”. They imposed unrealistic requirements on the top officers, and booted them out of their jobs if they didnt ‘agree’. They seem to only be listening when the Generals say “Yes”.

  8. People are failing to understand Mr. Bush’s brilliant tactical stroke.
    What is the hardest military maneuver? Withdrawal , of course, just ask Napoleon.Now what we do is create a lot of noise about a build up of troops. Then we create a lot of traffic all over Iraq. The insurgents having read Mao will hunker down for a while to give us a chance to step further into the trap. Meanwhile, we land empty airlines and evacuate our troops.
    By the time the dust settles, we’re gone. The insurgents are left swatting at the wind. And George Bush takes his rightful place in history as a great military mind.

  9. Wasn’t Bush lying through his teeth at the time, when he said he was working for the day “when we could leave”?

    slugger,
    As a Marine, my military training didn’t include retreating. It was just “Hi diddle diddle. Straight up the middle.”
    More the pity.

  10. They really do hate freedom over there at Think Progress.Not in reference to this post but if you don’t know-they REALLY HATE freedom.

  11. Actually, RC, what you find are lots of reports of officers proclaiming the enforced party line in public – we have all the troops we need to complete the mission – and then buttonholing their visitors quietly on the way out the door.

  12. As a Marine, my military training didn’t include retreating. It was just “Hi diddle diddle. Straight up the middle.”

    So you mean the Marine Corps’ long and glorious history of retreating – Chosin Reservoir, Vietnam, Beirut – was all improvisation? Wow. That’s even more impressive.

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