Question of the day: Will Bush increase Iraq troop levels if the generals remain opposed?

I don’t think this is as clear a no-brainer as some may think.  Sure, Bush is an arrogant SOB, but taking this kind of drastic military step against the combined will of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (as well as the commanders on the ground) would be extraordinarily difficult politically.  My guess is that he’ll try to win them over (or bully them) in some fashion, but failing that he’ll back down.  I just can’t see him ordering a troop “surge” if they remain united in opposition.

What do you think?

7 Responses to “Question of the day: Will Bush increase Iraq troop levels if the generals remain opposed?”

  1. Larkrise Says:

    Bush is a rat backed into a corner. Hard to say what he will do. On Michael, it stated his approval rating was down to 28%. Will he notice? Will he care? Of course, I hope he backs down, but the man is not rational. Your guess is as good as mine.

  2. cavjam Says:

    a) Bush is like the Emperor of Japan back in its pre-industrial day. He’s merely the empty figurehead; empty figure, empty head. It’s the Shogunate which has the power.

    b) As to the future course of the Empire - reality trumps wishing for ponies. There is simply no way in the near future to sustain any significant troop increase. Remember, even a 20K increase will demand at least a 10K increase in support troops.

    c) Interestingly, this stated desire to increase troops will enable the rightie-tightie contingent ten-twenty years from now a revisionist excuse for failure. “If it weren’t for the liberal press infecting the citizenry with cynicism, we’da won in Iraq.” Echoes of VietNam sound in the halls of right-wing history.

  3. alwayshope Says:

    Since there are only 2 choices: Draw down or build up, I think he will send more troops. He WILL not be perceived as losing and he’s a gambler (with other people’s lives) so I’m guessing an all-out surge against targeted neighborhoods. As for the military “leadership”, it will cave in to the neocons, as usual.
    A troop increase should be used to protect the electric plants and sewage and water. An all out assault on the lack of progress would be more effective. Set a timetable for Hallibuton and Bechtel to get lights and water to the Iraqis. We should stay out of the civil war and only fulfill our obligation to rebuild and protect the infrastructure we destroyed. But that’s not what he’ll do. He is not a builder, he is a killer. He will send in more troops to destroy more lives and imprison those he sees as threats. He has always seen only the miltary side, never the reconstruction or the consensus building required to sustain an occupation. In his mind, you kill your enemies, you don’t negotiate, you don’t back off, you don’t question your methods or authority. He doesn’t care what his generals think anymore than he cares what the American people think. This is his war and as long as we allow him to throw away the lives of our brave soldiers, he’ll send them out to kill or be killed in as many last ditch efforts to save his face as he can get away with. The question isn’t will he or will his generals send more troops, but will we let them and can we stop them?
    There is no reason to believe that the “new” stategy will be anything more than more destruction and greater violence against Americans and innocents. There is no reason to believe that Bush will ever succeed at anything except the escalation of hatred and violence, the proliferation of nuclear weapons and further isolation and division of Americans and the rest of the world. I expect him to do what is best for Bush, not America or Iraq.
    I hate this war.

  4. hizzhoner Says:

    I’m just guessing here but I think the reason Bush delayed making an announcement of exactly what the hell “a new way forward” really means is because he needs time to co-opt the Joint Chiefs. Remember, he’s like a spoiled child who will not take no for an answer. He will cajole, threaten, smooze, charm and bribe the Joint Chiefs until they give him just the barest of consents….just a crack in the door…so he can take advantage of it to do what he wanted to do all along. He needed the time.


  5. Larry the Red Says:

    My sense of it is that Hizzhonor is probably about right. But let’s consider also that this might be why Rummy’s out and Gates is in. Gates’s main job may well be to do that cajoling, threatening, etc. He’s not a military guy; his background is with the CIA. He’s a company man who must have known that his job was to implement whatever Shrub and the president want to do. The top brass were already in semi-open revolt against Rummy, so he was no longer an asset. A new face was needed, and Gates seemed the perfect fit.

  6. Larkrise Says:

    Correction: Bush’s approval rating remains (amazingly) in the 30’s. His handling of Iraq is 28%. The more I read, the more I think he is going to increase the troop numbers in Iraq. Cheney is pushing for it-Surprise! Surprise! Cheney cannot wait to see more people die. He’s a glutton for other people’s punishment. Some General- I just read his name and promptly forgot it-is pushing for increasing the number of troops. He bases his opinions on Vietnam! That is, if we had killed several hundred thousand more Americans, we would have won. Of course, Bush has surrounded himself with syncophants and flunkies who tell him what he wants to hear. THIS IS HIS PATTERN OF BEHAVIOR. The lists grows longer every day of the people Bush WILL NOT listen to nor seriously consider their advice. Alwayshope has said it best: “he is a killer.”

  7. Again Says:

    agree to everything said here…

    In his mind, you kill your enemies, you don’t negotiate, you don’t back off, you don’t question your methods or authority.

    then he shouldn’t destroy America - because only America protects this spoiled child from HIS enemies thinking alike. Only the dollar buys the “coalition of the billing”, only the dollar buys armies and weapons and mercenaries to protect that weakling not brave enough to walk straight through the own country - when he continues to harm the dollar, the first who will betray him, will be Murdoch and Halliburton, i guess…

    and then? Where should he hide from all the enemies he created by killing their beloved ones? Who learned just one thing: “you kill your enemies, you don’t negotiate, you don’t back off, you don’t question your methods or authority”?

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