Hamilton, Madison, and Jay

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Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States

Who are we? We're a married couple who has a passion for politics and current events. That's what this site is about. If you read us, you know what we stand for.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Advisers tell Bush to stay the course

Yes, that's true. They have told him that they need to maintain the course in Iraq because of the achievements accomplished in the surge, much to the chagrin of the Left. The AP has the scoop:

President Bush's senior advisers on Iraq have recommended he stand by his current war strategy, and he is unlikely to order more than a symbolic cut in troops before the end of the year, administration officials told The Associated Press Tuesday.

The recommendations from the military commander in Iraq, Gen. David Petraeus, and U.S. Ambassador Ryan Crocker come despite independent government findings Tuesday that Baghdad has not met most of the political, military and economic markers set by Congress.

Bush appears set on maintaining the central elements of the policy he announced in January, one senior administration official said after discussions with participants in Bush's briefings during his surprise visit to an air base in Iraq on Monday.

Although the addition of 30,000 troops and the focus on increasing security in Baghdad would not be permanent, Bush is inclined to give it more time in hopes of extending military gains in Baghdad and the formerly restive Anbar province, officials said. They spoke on condition of anonymity to describe decisions coming as part of the White House report on Iraq due to Congress next week.

The plan they described is fraught with political risk. While Republican leaders on Tuesday suggested the GOP may be willing to support keeping troops in the region through spring, it is unclear whether rank-and-file party members who face tough elections next year will be willing to follow their lead.

Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell told reporters he would like to ensure a long-term U.S. presence in the Middle East to fight al-Qaida and deter aggression from Iran.

"And I hope that this reaction to Iraq and the highly politicized nature of dealing with Iraq this year doesn't end up in a situation where we just bring all the troops back home and thereby expose us, once again, to the kind of attacks we've had here in the homeland or on American facilities," said McConnell, R-Ky.

This jives with everything we've been reading (much of it the backbone of research we used for our "pre-emptive" column on the surge report. In short, it's working, and the military commanders on the ground don't want a withdrawal. A draw down might be a possibility as conditions improve more. But they certainly don't want an impromptu exit as demanded by Congress; a body who has no say in the war save for funding it.

This story sets the stage for September, and demands that congress stay the course as well. We'll have to see if Harry Reid gets the memo, or whether he shreds it. We already know that the Left in Congress is going to throw a tizzy about the report, and will demand to know where the political accomplishments are. Mark my words, they'll be there, too. Much of it will be on the local level, but even Congress won't be able to deny that steps have been taken and accomplished by the national government, and more so from the local governmental bodies. This is why the president appealed to those people on Monday.

Publius II


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