Bush Doubts Surge Success

Privately, Bush seeks to lower expectations on the surge—and the prime minister
By J. Kelman,  Newser User
Posted Apr 28, 2007 12:51 PM CDT
President Bush, right, and first lady Laura Bush greet Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his wife Akie, not seen, at the Blair House, across the street from the White House in Washington, Thursday,...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – The Bush administration is quietly rijiggering its internal expectations for Iraq, senior administration officials have told the New York Times. In spite of a publicly optimistic stance, Bush is already preparing for the possible failure of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's regime and readying to maintain a troop surge well into 2008.

The administration expects its planned September evaluation of the troop surge to reveal limited gains, if any. Perhaps a bigger problem is Maliki, whose slow movement on political reconciliation is a time bomb for the White House. Yet Bush's public poker face is set: “He knows that it doesn’t pay to say what you expect Maliki to get done,” says one Republican.