New Bob Woodward Book Reveals Deep Divisions In Military, White House on Troop Surge
The book ... says that the U.S. troop "surge" of 2007, in which President Bush sent nearly 30,000 additional U.S. combat forces and support troops to Iraq, was not the primary factor behind the steep drop in violence there during the past 16 months.
Rather, Woodward reports, "groundbreaking" new covert techniques, beginning in 2007, enabled U.S. military and intelligence officials to locate, target and kill insurgent leaders and key individuals in extremist groups such as al-Qaeda in Iraq.
Woodward does not disclose the code names of these covert programs or provide much detail about them, saying in the book that White House and other officials had cited national security concerns in asking him to withhold specifics.
Overall, Woodward writes, four factors combined to reduce the violence: the covert operations; the influx of troops; the decision by militant cleric Moqtada al-Sadr to rein in his powerful Mahdi Army; and the so-called Anbar Awakening, in which tens of thousands of Sunnis turned against al-Qaeda in Iraq and allied with U.S. forces.
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Tim Matthewson - 9/5/2008
The focus on the so-called "surge" has tended to distract attention from the more important question of whether the Iraq war has made the US more or less secure. I think that the answer is definitely negative because it has brought the radical fringes -- Hamas and Hezbola -- to power throughout the middle east and it has also contributed to the radicalization of Iran, pushing them ever closer to nuclear weapons. There were no WMD in 2003, but there may well be throughout much of the middle east soon enough. Thank you George Bush!
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