Hours before President Bush is scheduled to deliver a speech Wednesday morning, the White House went on the offensive by releasing a declassified document that it says outlines strategy for victory in Iraq.
But does it outline what victory (or defeat) actually is? Is victory defined? Is it defined only as a stable and peaceful Iraq? Is defeat only defined by battlefield standards, or is what a defeat may be even considered? If not, the end result may be we end up with a conflict that is unending.
The White House said on Wednesday that Iraq was likely to struggle with violence for many years, but as its forces increasingly take over security, U.S. troops can eventually withdraw.
President George W. Bush, in a speech at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, is expected to try and counter criticism that his administration lacks a clear Iraq strategy.
So, how many is many? When do we look for a new policy, after 5 years, 10 years, 20 years? When Bush gets advice that runs counter to what he wants to hear, how will the administration respond. In the past Bush has ignored contrary opinions, and has actually fired those who present information they don't want presented.
Bush said any decisions he makes will be based on the recommendations of top U.S. commanders.
"If they tell me we need more troops, we'll provide more troops," he said. "If they tell me we've got a sufficient level of troops, that'll be the level of troops.
So here we get the big lie that makes most of what Bush will say today irrelevant. Bush claims he listens and will change as commanders advise. But the past has shown that those who dare to present information or plans outside of what the administration wants are ignored or fired. So in the end, the dying will continue, and what is victory is still undefined.
I think history records another leader who ignored negative battlefield information, and was eventually destroyed.
National strategy for victory in Iraq Iraq Bush