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Administration Official: Troop Escalation ‘More Of A Political Decision Than A Military One’

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"Administration Official: Troop Escalation ‘More Of A Political Decision Than A Military One’"

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CNN reports “President Bush is expected to announce his new Iraq strategy in an address to the nation early next week.” According to the BBC, “The speech will reveal a plan to send more US troops to Iraq.”

Last night on NBC News, Jim Miklaszewski reported that the new strategy will be announced next Tuesday, and that an administration official “admitted to us today that this surge option is more of a political decision than a military one.” Watch it:

[flv http://video.thinkprogress.org/2007/01/political.320.240.flv]

Just weeks ago, CentCom commander Gen. John Abizaid told Congress “I met with every divisional commander, General Casey, the corps commander, General Dempsey, we all talked together. And I said, in your professional opinion, if we were to bring in more American Troops now, does it add considerably to our ability to achieve success in Iraq? And they all said no.”


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Transcript:

WILLIAMS: First, NBC News pentagon correspondent Jim Miklaszewski has learned that President Bush is prepared to announce a strategy of surge and accelerate in Iraq, which would involve some 20,000 additional American troops being sent to Iraq. Jim is with us from the Pentagon with more on this tonight. Jim. Good evening.

MIKLASZEWSKI: Good evening, Brian. Administration officials told us today that President Bush has now all but decided to surge those additional troops into Baghdad to try to control over the violence there and only then could they accelerate the turnover of territory to Iraqi security forces. Fact is they’re not up to the task yet. The plan would also throw more U.S. money at Iraq for reconstruction and a jobs program. Interestingly enough, one administration official admitted to us today that this surge option is more of a political decision than a military one because the American people have run out of patience and President Bush is running out of time to achieve some kind of success in Iraq. While this plan will clearly draw some stiff opposition on Capitol Hill, the president is expected to announce it a week from today.

WILLIAMS: Jim Miklaszewski on duty for us today. Thanks for that.

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