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ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-15-06 10:35 PM
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US plans last big push in Iraq
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Edited on Wed Nov-15-06 10:37 PM by ProSense

US plans last big push in Iraq

Strategy document calls for extra 20,000 troops, aid for Iraqi army and regional summit

Simon Tisdall
Thursday November 16, 2006
The Guardian

President George Bush has told senior advisers that the US and its allies must make "a last big push" to win the war in Iraq and that instead of beginning a troop withdrawal next year, he may increase US forces by up to 20,000 soldiers, according to sources familiar with the administration's internal deliberations.

Mr Bush's refusal to give ground, coming in the teeth of growing calls in the US and Britain for a radical rethink or a swift exit, is having a decisive impact on the policy review being conducted by the Iraq Study Group chaired by Bush family loyalist James Baker, the sources said.

Although the panel's work is not complete, its recommendations are expected to be built around a four-point "victory strategy" developed by Pentagon officials advising the group. The strategy, along with other related proposals, is being circulated in draft form and has been discussed in separate closed sessions with Mr Baker and the vice-president Dick Cheney, an Iraq war hawk.

Snip...

"You've got to remember, whatever the Democrats say, it's Bush still calling the shots. He believes it's a matter of political will. That's what (Henry) Kissinger told him. And he's going to stick with it," a former senior administration official said. "He (Bush) is in a state of denial about Iraq. Nobody else is any more. But he is. But he knows he's got less than a year, maybe six months, to make it work. If it fails, I expect the withdrawal process to begin next fall."

The "last push" strategy is also intended to give Mr Bush and the Republicans "political time and space" to recover from their election drubbing and prepare for the 2008 presidential campaign, the official said. "The Iraq Study Group buys time for the president to have one last go. If the Democrats are smart, they'll play along, and I think they will. But forget about bipartisanship. It's all about who's going to be in best shape to win the White House.

The official added: "Bush has said 'no' to withdrawal, so what else do you have? The Baker report will be a set of ideas, more realistic than in the past, that can be used as political tools. What they're going to say is: lower the goals, forget about the democracy crap, put more resources in, do it."

more...


Play along? WTF? How about those investigations!

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