White House, Joint Chiefs Clash Over Iraq ‘Surge’
The U.S. military’s Joint Chiefs of Staff unanimously disagree with Bush’s plan to send an extra 15,000 to 30,000 troops into Iraq to quell the civil war.
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The Bush administration is split over the idea of a surge in troops to Iraq, with White House officials aggressively promoting the concept over the unanimous disagreement of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, according to U.S. officials familiar with the intense debate.
Sending 15,000 to 30,000 more troops for a mission of possibly six to eight months is one of the central proposals on the table of the White House policy review to reverse the steady deterioration in Iraq. The option is being discussed as an element in a range of bigger packages, the officials said.
But the Joint Chiefs think the White House, after a month of talks, still does not have a defined mission and is latching onto the surge idea in part because of limited alternatives, despite warnings about the potential disadvantages for the military, said the officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the White House review is not public.
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