DNC: Smooth Talking Mitt Joins Bush in Ignoring Military Commanders, Escalating Iraq War

Jan 10, 2007, 00:00 ET from Democratic National Committee

    WASHINGTON, Jan. 10 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following release
 was issued today by the Democratic National Committee:
     After months of waffling on whether he supports sending additional
 troops to Iraq, Smooth Talking Mitt Romney today finally said something.
 Despite the failure of previous troop increases to stabilize Iraq, the
 advice of generals and experts who oppose the plan, and the fact the
 American people have utterly rejected President Bush's failed leadership,
 Romney issued a statement endorsing President Bush's escalation of the war,
 saying "I agree with the President. I support adding five brigades in
 Baghdad and two regiments in Al- Anbar province."
     Romney's decision to support what an Associated Press analysis today
 called a "repackaging of a program that's been wrapped and rewrapped many
 times" comes after months of fumbling to find the most politically
 expedient response. [AP, 1/10/06] Last September Romney said, "My
 inclination would be more boots, not less boots [in Iraq]." [Des Moines
 Register, 9/28/06] Just three months later he backed away, declaring that
 "I'm not going to weigh in [on a troop surge in Iraq]. I'm still a
 Governor." [Human Events, 12/28/06]
     "After searching for what he thought Republican primary voters wanted
 him to say on Iraq, Smooth Talking Mitt Romney has once again settled on
 the wrong answer," said Democratic National Committee Press Secretary
 Stacie Paxton. "Apparently Romney will endorse any of President Bush's
 failed policies if it helps him run to the right, even if it means ignoring
 our military leaders and sending more American troops into the middle of a
 civil war in Iraq."
     Romney Finally Takes a Stand:
     Against Military and Foreign Policy Experts
     Colin Powell: Troop Surge Would Probably Not Help. According to an
 article in the International Herald Tribune, "The former secretary of state
 Colin Powell said Sunday that badly overstretched U.S. forces in Iraq were
 losing the war there and that a temporary U.S. troop surge probably would
 not help. Powell was deeply skeptical about increasing troop levels, an
 idea that appears to be gaining ground as President George W. Bush weighs
 U.S. strategy options. 'There really are no additional troops' to send,
 Powell said, adding that he agreed with those who say that the U.S. Army is
 'about broken.' He said he was unsure that new troops could suppress
 sectarian violence or secure Baghdad." [International Herald Tribune,
     General Casey Lukewarm on Troop Escalation in Iraq. According to an
 article in the Associated Press, "Several top U.S. commanders have been
 wary of even a short-term troop increase, saying it might only bring a
 temporary respite to the violence while confronting the U.S. with shortages
 of fresh troops in the future. Asked at a news briefing about a possible
 surge of U.S. troops, Casey repeated his concern that 'additional troops
 have to be for a purpose.I'm not necessarily opposed to the idea, but what
 I want to see happen is when, if we do bring more American troops here,
 they help us progress to our strategic objectives,' Casey said."
 [Associated Press, 12/20/06]
     Soldiers Skeptical of Troop Escalation in Iraq. According to an article
 in the Associated Press, "Many of the American soldiers trying to quell
 sectarian killings in Baghdad don't appear to be looking for
 reinforcements. They say the temporary surge in troop levels some people
 are calling for is a bad idea.In dozens of interviews with soldiers of the
 Army's 5th Battalion, 20th Infantry Regiment as they patrolled the streets
 of eastern Baghdad, many said the Iraqi capital is embroiled in civil
 warfare between majority Shiite Muslims and Sunni Arabs that no number of
 American troops can stop." [Associated Press, 12/28/06]
     Major General Don Shepperd, USAF (Ret.): I Would Not Even Consider
 Increasing Troop Strength In Iraq. Shepperd, who works as a CNN military
 analyst, offered his analysis of what should be done next after he was
 briefed by members of the Iraq Study Group. He wrote, "I would not even
 consider increasing troop strength in Iraq." [CNN.com, 12/11/06]
     Michael Vickers, Former Special Forces Officer: "All The Forces in The
 World" Won't Change Security Situation in Iraq. Vicks said, "The security
 situation is inextricably linked to politics. If you can solve some of the
 Iraqi political problems, the security situation becomes manageable. If you
 can't...all the forces in the world aren't going to change that." [The
 Newshour With Jim Lehrer, PBS, 12/12/06]
     General Abizaid: Opposes More Troops. Time Magazine reported, "Abizaid
 has said he opposes more troops because it would discourage Iraqis from
 taking responsibility for their own security." [Time, 12/4/06]
     Ambassador Richard Holbrooke: 40,000 Troops Would Make Little
 Difference. "[Some people are] saying that 30,000 or 40,000 more troops
 would make a difference. I respectfully disagree. With the tooth-to-tail
 ratios of the military -- that is combat soldiers versus cooks, people who
 run the PX's and the bowling alleys and so on -- with the fact that the
 first thing they have to do is build barracks, which are bullet, bomb-proof
 to protect themselves, any military guy you talk to will tell you that
 40,000 troops will not make that kind of difference." [Charlie Rose Show,
     Lawrence Korb, Former Assistant of Defense: Korb said, "we had a chance
 in the beginning to send the right number of troops. We didn't, and now I
 think it would only make the situation worse and it would make the Iraqis
 more dependent on us" [Talk of the Nation, NPR, 9/18/06]
     American General: Unless Political Situation Stabilizes, "All The
 Troops In The World" Will Not Provide Security. The Iraq Study Group Report
 "quotes an unnamed American general saying that unless the political morass
 is somehow remedied in Baghdad, 'all the troops in the world will not
 provide security.'" [Iraq Study Group Report, Vintage Books, 12/06;
 Salon.com, 12/7/06; Pueblo Chieftain, 12/11/06]
     Michael E. O'Hanlon, Brookings Institute: Call For More Troops Repeats
 the Mistakes of Vietnam. O'Hanlon, said McCain "would just repeat the
 mistake of Vietnam," by sending an extra 100,000 troops. [Boston Globe,
 10/24/06; New York Times, 11/14/06; Washington Post, 11/16/06]
     Richard Haass, President Of The Council On Foreign Relations: Even
 Doubling Troops Might Not Stabilize the Situation. "It's not clear to me
 that even if you double the level of American troops you would somehow
 stabilize the situation [in Iraq]." [Today, NBC News Transcript, 11/30/06]
     Jessica Matthews, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace: More
 Troops "Merely Palliative." "Sending more American troops should not divert
 the US from recognising that they are a palliative. Iraq cannot be pacified
 by military means alone. Without a new political plan, adopted quickly, the
 violence will grow and eventually overwhelm everyone involved." [Financial
 Times (London, England), 4/21/04]

SOURCE Democratic National Committee