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Four Color Politics

Mainly the Quotes of the Morning, with occasional Other Crap.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Quotes of the Morning: A Change of Strategery

“President Bush and his senior military and foreign policy advisers are beginning to discuss a ‘post-surge’ strategy for Iraq that they hope could gain bipartisan political support. The new policy would focus on training and advising Iraqi troops rather than the broader goal of achieving a political reconciliation in Iraq, which senior officials recognize may be unachievable within the time available.
The revamped policy, as outlined by senior administration officials, would be premised on the idea that, as the current surge of U.S. troops succeeds in reducing sectarian violence, America's role will be increasingly to help prepare the Iraqi military to take greater responsibility for securing the country.”
-David Ignatius, Washington Post, May 22, 2007

“Whoo hoo! Fearless Leader is coming up with a new plan, and it is a great one! Instead of focusing on taking out all of the insurgents ourselves, we’re going to focus on training Iraqi forces to fight them. This is a new, and exciting, development.”

“US President George W Bush intends to reveal a new Iraq strategy within days, the BBC has learnt.
The speech will reveal a plan to send more US troops to Iraq to focus on ways of bringing greater security, rather than training Iraqi forces.”
-BBC News, January 2, 2007

“..except that it is, of course, the exact same strategy that we were using before the surge started. Doesn’t anyone else remember this?”

“President Bush began 2006 assuring the country that he had a ‘strategy for victory in Iraq.’ He ended the year closeted with his war cabinet on his ranch trying to devise a new strategy, because the existing one had collapsed.
The original plan, championed by Gen. George W. Casey Jr., the top commander in Baghdad, and backed by Donald H. Rumsfeld, then the defense secretary, called for turning over responsibility for security to the Iraqis, shrinking the number of American bases and beginning the gradual withdrawal of American troops. But the plan collided with Iraq’s ferocious unraveling, which took most of Mr. Bush’s war council by surprise.”
-New York Times, January 2, 2006

“It seems like when the surge ends we’re going to be caught in a situation that is at least as bad as it was before the surge.. just with more dead soldiers to show for it. Luckily the word ‘surge’ means something different in the White House than it does in most of so-called ‘reality’.”

“Sending 15,000 to 30,000 more troops for a mission of possibly six to eight months is one of the central proposals on the table of the White House policy review to reverse the steady deterioration in Iraq. The option is being discussed as an element in a range of bigger packages, the officials said.
But the Joint Chiefs think the White House, after a month of talks, still does not have a defined mission and is latching on to the surge idea in part because of limited alternatives, despite warnings about the potential disadvantages for the military, said the officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the White House review is not public.
The chiefs have taken a firm stand, the sources say, because they believe the strategy review will be the most important decision on Iraq to be made since the March 2003 invasion.”
-Washington Post, December 19, 2006

“Six to eight months.. Sounds like a fair amount of time, especially considering that this comment..”

“My fellow Americans, major combat operations in Iraq have ended…In the battle of Iraq, the United States and our allies have prevailed.”
-George ‘Dubya’ Bush, May 1, 2003

“…happened less than two months from the beginning of the war. In other words the ‘surge’ was to last three to four times as long as the ‘major combat operations’. Seems like plenty of time to get the situation under control.”

“The Bush administration will not try to assess whether the troop increase in Iraq is producing signs of political progress or greater security until September, and many of Mr. Bush’s top advisers now anticipate that any gains by then will be limited, according to senior administration officials.
In interviews over the past week, the officials made clear that the White House is gradually scaling back its expectations for the government of Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki. The timelines they are now discussing suggest that the White House may maintain the increased numbers of American troops in Iraq well into next year. ”
-New York Times, April 27, 2007

“…except that they are now saying that six to eight months won’t even be enough time to see if the surge is ‘producing signs of political progress’. Maybe they need more troops to get the work done..”

“The Bush administration is quietly on track to nearly double the number of combat troops in Iraq this year, an analysis of Pentagon deployment orders showed Monday.
This ‘second surge’ of troops in Iraq, which is being executed by extending tours for brigades already there and by deploying more units, could boost the number of combat troops to as many as 98,000 by the end of this year. When support troops are included, the total number of U.S. troops in Iraq could increase from 162,000 now to more than 200,000 -- the most ever -- by the end of the year.
The efforts to reinforce U.S. troops in Iraq are being carried out without the fanfare that accompanied President Bush's initial troop surge in January.”
-Hearst Newspapers, May 21, 2007

“That’s it! If we just put more troops on the ground (again) and leave them there longer, we’ll finally be able to go back to the tactics that we were using before the surge began. Sweet, sweet progress.”

“We’re not going to lose in Iraq. As a matter of fact, we will win in Iraq so long as we stay the course.”
-George ‘Dubya’ Bush, July 11, 2006


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