The Headline from Wapo is "White House, Joint Chiefs at odds on adding troops" , the headline implying that the Joint Chiefs do not agree on addition troops being sent to Iraq.
The pentagon and the joint chiefs asks legitimate questions, ones they are being paid to ask during these meetings. They bring up points about logistics, they mention potential flaws in certain plans.... they are doing their job. They are trying to see all possibilities and all ramifications. It is hard forseeing the future and trying to think of all possible problems that "could" oocur. These are things the president NEEDS to be aware of, things the president has to know about.
It seems to me that if the joint chiefs of staff simply nodded in agreement and did NOT bring up all the possibilities they would not be doing their jobs.
The official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations, said military officers have not directly opposed a surge option. "I've never heard them be depicted that way to the president," the official said. "Because they ask questions about what the mission would be doesn't mean they don't support it. Those are the kinds of questions the president wants his military planners to be asking."
I would be extremely worried if the joint chiefs of staffs weren't asking questions.
On another front but related to this issue... Robert Gates said something yesterday that didn't seem to sink in to alot of people.
Robert Gates assumed the helm at the Pentagon on Monday, warning in his first public remarks as defense secretary that failure in Iraq would be a "calamity" that would haunt the United States for years.
The former CIA chief pledged to give President Bush his honest advice on the costly and unpopular war, and said he would go to Iraq soon to see what U.S. commanders believe should be done to quell the growing violence.
"All of us want to find a way to bring America's sons and daughters home again," Gates, 63, said after taking the oath of office as defense secretary from Vice President Dick Cheney at a Pentagon ceremony. "But as the president has made clear, we simply cannot afford to fail in the Middle East. Failure in Iraq at this juncture would be a calamity that would haunt our nation, impair our credibility, and endanger Americans for decades to come."
Gates seems to be quite aware of the ramifictaions of losing and failure and understands the need to succeed.
The need to succeed.... catchy phrase.
Others discussing Iraq:
Keep up with the discussions at memeorandum.