General Casey will make the decisions as to how many troops we have there. And that’s important for the families to know. It’s really important. General Casey is a wise and smart man who has spent a lot of time in Baghdad recently, obviously. And it’s his judgment that I rely upon. He’ll decide how best to achieve victory and the troop levels necessary to do so.
I spent a lot of time talking to him about troop levels, and I told him this; I said, you decide, General. I want your judgment, your advice. I don’t want these decisions being made by the political noise, by the political moment. It’s just unfair to our troops and it’s unfair to their families. It’s the reasoned judgment of our military commanders that the President must count on in order to achieve a victory that is necessary to help make this country more secure. And that’s exactly how I’m going to make my decision.
Today NYT reports Bush will be pushing Casey out and Bush advisors admit that the midterm election slowed a change in Iraq strategy…
Over the past 12 months, as optimism collided with reality, Mr. Bush increasingly found himself uneasy with General Casey’s strategy. And now, as the image of Saddam Hussein at the gallows recedes, Mr. Bush seems all but certain not only to reverse the strategy that General Casey championed, but also to accelerate the general’s departure from Iraq, according to senior military officials.
This year, decisions on a new strategy were clearly slowed by political calculations. Many of Mr. Bush’s advisers say their timetable for completing an Iraq review had been based in part on a judgment that for Mr. Bush to have voiced doubts about his strategy before the midterm elections in November would have been politically catastrophic.
The NYT article focuses on pathetic WH claims that they were overtaken by events in Iraq and failed to take warnings of growing chaos seriously.
UPDATE:Bush on October 25, 2006…
THE PRESIDENT: I will send more troops to Iraq if General Casey says, I need more troops in Iraq to achieve victory. And that’s the way I’ve been running this war. I have great faith in General Casey.