What a Surge Really Means

Can a couple more divisions in Iraq make a difference? Or is Bush's idea too little, too late?

BROOKS KRAFT / CORBIS FOR TIME

U.S. troops listen as President George W. Bush speaks on Independence Day at Fort Bragg in North Carolina.

For years now, George W. Bush has told Americans that he would increase the number of troops in Iraq only if the commanders on the ground asked him to do so. It was not a throwaway line: Bush said it from the very first days of the war, when he and Pentagon boss Donald Rumsfeld were criticized for going to war with too few troops. He said it right up until last summer, stressing at a news conference in Chicago that Iraq commander General George Casey "will make the decisions as to how many troops we have there." Seasoned military people...

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