Sunday, May 06, 2007

Who's fooling whom?

Surge strategist Fred Kagan in the New York Times --

As we look ahead, two things are very clear. First, there can be no “do-over” — the various plans proposed in late 2006 as alternatives to the current strategy are extremely unlikely to be relevant in 2007. Any idea of reverting to the Iraq Study Group [Baker-Hamilton] plan — which focused on pushing more Americans into training teams and pulling them out of the neighborhoods — will probably not make sense in August.

George W. Bush in the "commander guy" speech --

I'm asked all the time about strategies. I liked what James A. Baker and Lee Hamilton reported back after a serious investigation of Iraq. I liked their ideas. And it's something that we should seriously consider. And their idea was, is that at some point in time, it makes sense to have a U.S. presence configured this way, embedded with Iraqi forces, training Iraqi forces, over-the-horizon presence to provide enough security to know that people will have help if they need it, but put the -- more onus on a sovereign government of Iraq, a presence to keep the territorial integrity of Iraq intact, a special ops presence to go after these killers who have got their intentions on America. It's an interesting idea.

It's most likely that Kagan has told Bush what he says publicly -- that he thinks Baker-Hamilton is obsolete. It's Bush who, for whatever reason, wants to tell the public otherwise.

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