The White House is “aggressively promoting” a plan to send “15,000 to 30,000 more troops” to Iraq “over the unanimous disagreement of the Joint Chiefs of Staff,” the Washington Post reports today. “The Pentagon has cautioned that a modest surge could lead to more attacks by al-Qaeda, provide more targets for Sunni insurgents and fuel the jihadist appeal for more foreign fighters to flock to Iraq to attack U.S. troops.”
Bush has repeatedly insisted that troop levels were determined by military commanders. A year ago, Bush said he would not raise troop levels because the “commanders tell me they have the number of troops they need to do their job.” “As we determine the right force level,” Bush said, “our troops can know that I will continue to be guided by the advice that matters: the sober judgment of our military leaders.”
Watch Bush on June 28, 2005:
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.