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The Last CardInside George W. Bush's Decision to Surge in Iraq $
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Timothy Sayle, Jeffrey A. Engel, Hal Brands, and William Inboden

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781501715181

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501715181.001.0001

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America’s War in Iraq

America’s War in Iraq

2003–2005

Chapter:
(p.25) Chapter 1 America’s War in Iraq
Source:
(p.iii) The Last Card
Author(s):
Timothy Andrews Sayle, Jeffrey A. Engel, Hal Brands, William Inboden
Publisher:
Cornell University Press
DOI:10.7591/cornell/9781501715181.003.0002

This chapter traces the emerging concerns and contradictory signals reaching George W. Bush up until the end of 2005. Two years after he stood before a banner that read “mission accomplished,” Bush's war in Iraq dragged on. Military officials and intelligence analysts warned of a growing insurgency as early as late 2003. Others hoped political developments would slowly, but surely, overtake opposition, bringing peace and stability to the country. Though Iraqi politics frequently concerned the Bush administration, the president had politics of his own to worry about in the fall of 2004. Iraq played a central role in the close-fought election between Bush and Democratic challenger Senator John Kerry. Bush won, and as is commonly the case, key personnel retired or shifted responsibilities for the second term. American public opinion faltered a year after Bush's inauguration, which proved the high point of his second-term popularity. Policy makers in turn feared they would lose political support at home before Iraq itself had time to stabilize. The administration persisted in its basic strategy in Iraq, while attempting to explain it more effectively at home with publication of the National Strategy for Victory in Iraq (NSVI).

Keywords:   George W. Bush, Iraq, insurgency, Iraqi politics, Bush administration, John Kerry, American public opinion, political support, policy makers

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