The Bush administration has commissioned a slew of reports that could help it justify an end to the troop surge later this fall, the New York Times reports. Three months before Gen. Petraeus's planned report on the efficacy of the troop increase—expected to recommend a continuation of the surge—Bush and Co. are lining up others who will recommend an alternate strategy come September.
They include the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a long-time Bush foe just tapped by the Pentagon to conduct one congressionally mandated study on Iraq. Senior administration officials say Bush needs an out, given political pressures and the realities of an overstretched army. “Petraeus wants as much time as he can get,” says one senior administration official, but “the president may not have the leeway.”