Ok, then George. What are we doing in Iraq?
George Bush on Iraq in an interview with Peter Baker in the Washington Post:
President Bush acknowledged for the first time yesterday that the United States is not winning the war in Iraq and said he plans to expand the overall size of the "stressed" U.S. armed forces to meet the challenges of a long-term global struggle against terrorists.Funny. The number of hours between now and the next election is inversely proportional to the number of lies that the Bush Administration tells. That's the Rovian Third Law of Governing or something.
As he searches for a new strategy for Iraq, Bush has now adopted the formula advanced by his top military adviser to describe the situation. "We're not winning, we're not losing," Bush said in an interview with The Washington Post. The assessment was a striking reversal for a president who, days before the November elections, declared, "Absolutely, we're winning."
In another turnaround, Bush said he has ordered Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates to develop a plan to increase the troop strength of the Army and Marine Corps, heeding warnings from the Pentagon and Capitol Hill that multiple deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan are stretching the armed forces toward the breaking point. "We need to reset our military," said Bush, whose administration had opposed increasing force levels as recently as this summer.Wouldn't that be one of the 'flip-flop' moments that Bush used to such great effect in 2004 to eek out a victory? (Must have been at the times Kerry was taking a break from calling for 40,000 more troops...) Methinks it is. Of course we all know by now that it's only a problem if a Democrat does it because they flip-flop because of moral weakness. When George does it, it just means God is telling him to do something different.
But in a wide-ranging session in the Oval Office, the president said he interpreted the Democratic election victories six weeks ago not as a mandate to bring the U.S. involvement in Iraq to an end but as a call to find new ways to make the mission there succeed.Uh-huh.
Bush essentially wants to increase the number of 'boots on the ground' that America can deploy by increasing the size of the Army and the Marine Corps. This would, like everything else that BushCo. does, be too little, too late. It would take about a decade for the effects of the larger force to be felt.
And it would be expensive.
The total bill for this year's operations in Iraq and Afghanistan tops $170 Billion, of which less than half is accounted for in the budget. Over $100 billion is in 'supplemental funds.' The total cost of fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan is $600 Billion - more than the cost of the Vietnam War ($549 billion, adjusted for inflation).
The easier, cheaper, and more ethical solution would be, of course, to get out of Iraq.
George W. Bush War in Iraq
Photo: Robert A. Reeder -- The Washington Post Photo