In the months leading up to the Iraq surge, President Bush faced a revolt by frustrated Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Washington Post’s Bob Woodward writes in a new book, The War Within. Bush dumped the military leaders’ advice as Iraq spun out of control in fall of 2006, pushing a five-brigade surge on the hesitant generals while pulling rank.
“Fine, Mr. President. You’re the president,” the army chief told Bush after explaining that a surge would require calling up the National Guard, exhausting emergency reserves or lengthening tours for tired soldiers. But Bush ignored the criticism, bumping George Casey from commander in Iraq to make way for David Petraeus and the surge—which he told the military was the commanders’ idea.