Monday, September 8, 2008

Bob Woodward

This is from Bob Woodward's new book about the decision to start the surge:

The (Joint) chiefs' frustration grew so intense that (Joint Chief Chairman) Pace told Bush, "You need to sit down with them, Mr. President, and hear from them directly."

(National Security Advisor Steven)Hadley saw it as an opportunity. He arranged for Bush and Vice President Cheney to visit the JCS in the tank Dec. 13, 2006. The president would come armed with what Hadley called "sweeteners" -- more budget money and a promise to increase the size of the active-duty Army and Marine Corps. It would also be a symbolic visit, important to the chiefs because the president would be on their territory.

"Mr. President," Schoomaker began, "you know that five brigades is really 15."

Schoomaker was in charge of generating the force for the Army. Sending five new brigades to Iraq meant another five would have to take their place in line, and to sustain the surge, another five behind them. This could not be done, Schoomaker said, without either calling up the National Guard and Reserves or extending the 12-month tours in Iraq. The Army had hoped to go in the other direction and cut tours to nine months.

Would a surge transform the situation? Schoomaker asked. If not, why do it? "I don't think that you have the time to surge and generate enough forces for this thing to continue to go," he said.

"Pete, I'm the president," Bush said. "And I've got the time."

What I find interesting about all of this is that we were notified two days later that the 1-325 was going back as part of the surge. How does that happen?


ABNPOPPA said...


I got a couple of thoughts on it. First, someone told Woodard what he wanted to hear, or Woodard heard what he wanted to hear. Second, the Commander in Chief said get it done, it got done. Finally, and in my humble opinion, Generals fight wars, politicians think they do. The Generals, like good soldiers do, were ready with the plan and implemented it when they got the go ahead. You know sometimes rumors DO come true.

Airborne dad said...

What was interesting was the fact that they almost didn't come home. The Joe rumors were fast and furious that the 1-325 were going to be extended. Those rumors were taking place a month before the surge discussion.

At least the got to come home for not quite three weeks.

And I think the current rumors are pretty credible.

ABNPOPPA said...


Sorry about the brain cramp. I completely forgot about the 1-325 doing the turn around. I guess we were caught up in the 2-319 AFAR and Jacob going for the first time.

About the Fayville Funk, my dad had a saying that went sometime like this, 'Don't let the bast___ds wear you down!" Having said that, I must admitt my anxiety level has increased lately. I don't know if it's because I retired maybe I have more time to think.

Well, the wife has a "honey do" list about a mile long so better get started.


Airborne dad said...

Good advice, Pops.

On the "Honey Do" list. I found that the more you work on it, the longer it gets.