Wednesday, December 20, 2006

U.S. Not Winning War in Iraq, Bush Says for 1st Time


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.

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."

Among the options under review by the White House is sending 15,000 to 30,000 more troops to Iraq for six to eight months. The idea has the support of important figures such as Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and has been pushed by some inside the White House, but the Joint Chiefs have balked because they think advocates have not adequately defined the mission, according to U.S. officials.

The chiefs have warned that a short-term surge could lead to more attacks against U.S. troops, according to the officials, who described the review on the condition of anonymity because it is not complete. Bush would not discuss such ideas in detail but said "all options are viable."

Anyone who thinks a short-term surge is the silver bullet to turn around an inevitable loss better study up on The Battle of the Bulge. Or maybe Banzai charge is closer: is considered honourable to do a last desperate charge at the enemy and perish together with them instead of dying in cowardice.

That's fine, if you ain't the one doin' the chargin'...and dyin'.

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