Proposed “war czar” Lt. Gen. Douglas Lute said today in a written response to the Senate Armed Services Committee that he had voiced skepticism of President Bush’s escalation plan when it was initially proposed.
“During the review, I registered concerns that a military ‘surge’ would likely have only temporary and localized effects unless it were accompanied by counterpart ‘surges’ by the Iraqi government and the other, nonmilitary agencies of the U.S. government,” Lute wrote in a document obtained by The Associated Press.
“I also noted that our enemies in Iraq have, in effect, ‘a vote’ and should be expected to take specific steps to counter from our efforts,” he added. “The new policy took such concerns into account. It is too soon to tell the outcome.”
ThinkProgress noted last month that Lute had argued publicly that withdrawing troops was necessary to “undercut the perception of occupation.” His Senate confirmation hearing is tomorrow. We’ll see how he explains how Bush’s escalation plan “took such concerns into account.”