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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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Setting the Stage

Setting the Stage

Early November 2006

(p.113) Chapter 5 Setting the Stage
The Last Card
Timothy Andrews Sayle, Jeffrey A. Engel, Hal Brands, William Inboden
Cornell University Press

This chapter begins by looking at two trips to Iraq: the first by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, and the second by National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley. Hadley's trip in November of 2006 was particularly crucial—it was meant to gauge prospects for a change in course, and to determine whether Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki was a viable partner. Back in Washington, the Republican Party's loss of control of both houses of Congress in the midterm elections, along with Bush's eventual firing of Donald Rumsfeld, interacted with the growing intellectual ferment inside government and led Bush to launch and publicly announce a formal review of strategy in Iraq. Rumsfeld's replacement, Robert Gates, while named to the post in early November, would not formally take charge for another month. Time was now of the essence for the president. He was losing the war in Iraq, and, as Stephen Cambone, the undersecretary of defense for intelligence, put it, “he was losing the war here at home.”

Keywords:   Iraq, Condoleezza Rice, Stephen Hadley, Nouri al-Maliki, Iraq strategy, strategy review, Robert Gates, George W. Bush

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