Even author Bob Woodward, who had published best-sellers that praised Bush’s early war judgments, concluded that the “surge” was only one factor and possibly not even a major one in the declining violence.<quoted text>
That's the case for any president.
Decisions are made based on the information received.
The debacle after Katrina was directly linked to the mayor not evacuating the citizens when hoards of school buses were sitting on standby UNUSED as well as the Governor refusing to give the federal government permission to send in ARMED national guardsman until the liberal media made sure Bush was blamed first.
Bush was not going to send in the National Guard UNARMED and Governors are, BY LAW, required to give any president permission.
Everyone knew Saddam was a threat. Only Democrats became weasels for political gain when the tides turned.
The surge was the best decision Bush made. Even Obama was forced to admit that.
In his book, The War Within, Woodward wrote,“In Washington, conventional wisdom translated these events into a simple view: The surge had worked. But the full story was more complicated. At least three other factors were as important as, or even more important than, the surge.”
Woodward, whose book drew heavily from Pentagon insiders, listed the Sunni rejection of al-Qaeda extremists in Anbar Province and the surprise decision of al-Sadr to order a cease-fire as two important factors. A third factor, which Woodward argued may have been the most significant, was the use of new highly classified U.S. intelligence tactics that allowed for rapid targeting and killing of insurgent leaders.
Beyond the dubious impact of the “surge” on the gradual reduction in violence, Bush’s escalation failed to achieve its other stated goals, particularly creating political space so the Sunni-Shiite divisions over issues like oil profits could be resolved. Despite the sacrifice of additional American and Iraqi blood, those compromises did not materialize.
And, if you’re wondering what the “surge” and its loosened rules of engagement meant for Iraqis, you should watch the WikiLeaks’“Collateral Murder” video, which depicts a scene during the “surge” when U.S. firepower mowed down a group of Iraqi men, including two Reuters journalists, as they walked down a street in Baghdad. The U.S. attack helicopters then killed a father and wounded his two children when the man stopped his van in an effort to take survivors to the hospital.
However, in Washington, the still-influential neocons saw an opportunity in 2008 when the numbers of Iraq War casualties declined. The neocons credited themselves and the “successful surge” with the improvement as they polished up their tarnished reputations, badly stained by the blood of the long and disastrous conflict.
As the neocons pushed the “successful surge” myth, they were aided by the mainstream news media, which also had promoted the ill-fated war and was looking for a way to bolster its standing with the public. Typical of this new conventional wisdom, Newsweek published a cover story on the “surge” under the title,“victory at last.” To say otherwise brought you harsh criticism for not giving credit to “the troops.”