“I believe strongly that politicians in Washington shouldn’t be telling generals how to do their job…. And therefore I will strongly reject an artificial timetable withdrawal and/or Washington politicians trying to tell those who wear the uniform how to do their job.”
Washington Post, in January:
When President Bush goes before the American people tonight to outline his new strategy for Iraq, he will be doing something he has avoided since the invasion of Iraq in March 2003: ordering his top military brass to take action they initially resisted and advised against.
Bush talks frequently of his disdain for micromanaging the war effort and for second-guessing his commanders. “It’s important to trust the judgment of the military when they’re making military plans,” he told The Washington Post in an interview last month. “I’m a strict adherer to the command structure.”
But over the past two months, as the security situation in Iraq has deteriorated and U.S. public support for the war has dropped, Bush has pushed back against his top military advisers and the commanders in Iraq.
Bush believes “politicians in Washington” should listen to the generals, just so long as a) he’s not included among the “politicians”; and b) he gets to fire the generals who don’t agree with him.