Despite UNANIMOUS disagreement from the Joint Chiefs of Staff on increasing troop levels, even though "his experts" (to whom he claimed he would listen) are telling him it's just creating more targets, the Washington Post is reporting in an exclusive interview that Bush has ordered Gates to come up with a plan to increase troops. Now, granted, he's hedging on them being in Iraq--but c'mon, we all know where they'll be sent:
...Obviously, I've been thinking about -- and talking to a lot of people about the way forward in Iraq and the way forward in this ideological struggle. I want to share one thought I had with you, and I'm inclined to believe that we do need to increase our troops, the army, the Marines. And I talked about this to [Defense] Secretary [Robert M.] Gates and he is going to spend some time talking to the folks in the building, come back with a recommendation to me about how to proceed forward on this idea. I want to give him a little time to get his feet on the ground. And so I'll be addressing this after consultations with him. I just want to share that with you before we get going.
Q. You're talking about troops in Iraq, not --
No, I'm talking about overall size.-
- overall size of the army. Do you have a rough idea how much --
I'm going to wait for Secretary Gates. As I say, I'm inclined to believe it's important and necessary to do so. The reason why is, it is a accurate reflection that this ideological war we're in is going to last for a while, and that we're going to need a military that's capable of being able to sustain our efforts and to help us achieve peace.
So you've not made a decision about Iraq, per se, about what to do --
I have not, Mike, I have not. And we'll spend some more time -- Secretary Gates, as he indicated, is going to head to the region at some point in time. I need to talk to him when he gets back. I've got more consultations to do with the national security team, which will be consulting with other folks. And I'm going to take my time to make sure that the policy, when it comes out, the American people will see that we are -- have got a new way forward to achieve an important objective, which is a country that can govern, sustain and defend itself. Read full interview here