Wednesday’s New York Times bottom-lines the testimony of Gen. David Petraeus and Amb. Ryan Crocker: “[They] conceded Tuesday that the Bush administration’s overall strategy in Iraq would remain largely unchanged after the temporary increase in American forces is over next summer, and made clear their view that the United States would need a major troop presence in Iraq for years to come.”
This is no surprise. Petraeus’ team has consistently said — in February, June, July and August — that the “average” counterinsurgency effort takes about 10 years, clearly indicating that’s his expectation for his current mission.
(And that doesn’t even address the fundamentally destabilizing permanent military bases the Bush administration has said it plans to maintain in Iraq.)
By my count, there are 11 Senate Republicans who have tried to appear critical of Bush’s occupation — in addition to the four GOP senators who did not filibuster the last Democratic attempt to mandate a real troop redeployment.