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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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What Kind of Surge?

What Kind of Surge?

Late December 2006–January 2007

(p.182) Chapter 8 What Kind of Surge?
The Last Card
Timothy Andrews Sayle, Jeffrey A. Engel, Hal Brands, William Inboden
Cornell University Press

This chapter addresses how, even by late December of 2006, just what the surge would mean in terms of the number and timing of troop deployments remained uncertain. It describes the trip by the new secretary of defense, Robert Gates, to Iraq, his recommendations regarding the surge, and the deliberations by the president and his advisors as to just what means would be available for a new American strategy. By January, however, as Bush publicly announced the change of direction, he had made the crucial decisions to adopt a new counterinsurgency strategy, which included committing up to five brigades, enlarging the overall size of the Army and Marine Corps, and appointing a new country team for Iraq—David Petraeus as commander, Multi-National Force Iraq (MNF-I), and Ryan Crocker as ambassador. Moreover, the president had largely unified the executive branch—which had just recently been riven by disagreement on Iraq—in support of this new strategy. By January, recalls Stephen Hadley, the president had “brought his national security team on board; he's brought his military on board; and he's got a strategy... The effect the president wanted to achieve has been achieved.” The surge had been ordered.

Keywords:   troop deployments, Robert Gates, Iraq, American strategy, George W. Bush, counterinsurgency, US Army, US Marine Corps, David Petraeus, Ryan Crocker

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