Last night on CNN, reporter Suzanne Malveaux noted that the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), a right-wing think tank in Washington, DC, “has the president’s ear and is influencing his thinking” on Iraq. Last week Bush was briefed on a report by AEI scholar Frederick W. Kagan that calls for a troop surge in Iraq that “would probably last for anywhere from 18 to 24 months.” Watch it:
Kagan’s report specifically calls for at least 30,000 more Army and Marines per year for the next two years. It also advocates longer tours for ground forces and increased deployments for National Guard troops. The full report can be found here.
SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Aides say the president is weighing his numerous options for changing tactics in Iraq, following his consultations last week with Iraqi leaders and advisers at the Pentagon and State.
Sources say one conservative policy group that has the president’s ear and is influencing his thinking is the American Enterprise Institute. It briefed White House officials last week about its own report, which dismisses the Iraq Study Group’s recommendation to move U.S. troops from fighting positions to training Iraqi soldiers.
FREDERICK W. KAGAN: A surge of two or three months is not going to be productive. We’re proposing a surge that would probably last for anywhere from 18 to 24 months. At the end of that, we would expect that we will have brought the security situation sufficiently under control.