President Bush often talks about how he "listens to the Generals." At least when they're telling him what he wants to hear. And when they don't have suggestions that run counter to the plans he's already made. And, uhm...not recommending against waterboarding. But all those other times, the president listens. That's why it will be interesting to see what he does when they tell him that he needs to go back and re-accomplish this last mission he accomplished, in light of the fact that it's gone and un-accomplished itself:
With violence on the decline in Iraq but on the upswing in Afghanistan, President Bush is facing new pressure from the U.S. military to accelerate a troop drawdown in Iraq and bulk up force levels in Afghanistan, according to senior U.S. officials.
Administration officials said the White House could start to debate the future of the American military commitment in both Iraq and Afghanistan as early as next month. Some Pentagon officials are urging a further drawdown of forces in Iraq beyond that envisioned by the White House, which is set to reduce the number of combat brigades from 20 to 15 by the end of next summer. At the same time, commanders in Afghanistan are looking for several additional battalions, helicopters and other resources to confront a resurgent Taliban movement.
"There's a real dilemma there for the U.S.," said retired Lt. Gen. David W. Barno, the former commander of U.S.-led coalition forces in Afghanistan. "In some ways, the paradox is you could make an argument that the insurgency is diminishing in Iraq and increasing in Afghanistan."
Another "dilemma" and "paradox" the U.S. is facing? The fact that all the generals who make a lick of sense end up having the words "retired" or "former" placed next to their name!