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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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Silos and Stovepipes

Silos and Stovepipes

September–October 2006

(p.89) Chapter 4 Silos and Stovepipes
The Last Card
Timothy Andrews Sayle, Jeffrey A. Engel, Hal Brands, William Inboden
Cornell University Press

This chapter assesses how, by late August and into the early fall of 2006, the internal impetus for change was growing stronger across the government. The core premises of the National Strategy for Victory in Iraq (NSVI) were no longer tenable. These officials also worried that Washington had only limited time to make a course correction before the violence in Iraq spiraled out of control. The chapter then details a low-profile but intensive effort by National Security Council (NSC) staff to review US options. Some officials believed it was necessary to increase US forces in Iraq as part of an overall change in strategy. Whether or not any such forces were available was another question entirely, and so the NSC staff undertook a clandestine effort within the US bureaucracy to calculate just how many additional troops might be available. It was a remarkable aspect of the Iraq strategy debate that so little of these policy discussions leaked to the public, or were even known to those involved in parallel strategy reviews.

Keywords:   US government, Iraq, Washington, violence, National Security Council, US forces, US bureaucracy, Iraq strategy, strategy reviews

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