Bush wins war over Iraq war in Washington

The outcome of the Iraq war may still be in the balance but U.S. President George W. Bush has already won the war about the war in Washington. ( Reuters )

In November 2006 elections, Bush's Republican Party lost control of both houses of Congress largely due to public anger about Iraq. Democrats pledged to end the war that started in March 2003 and bring the troops home.

But testimony to Congress this week by the top commander on the ground, Army Gen. David Petraeus, indicates there will be about the same high level of U.S. troops in Iraq when Americans elect Bush's successor this November.

Bush managed to keep control thanks to a change of strategy, the appointment of a media-friendly and politically savvy commander in Petraeus, a reduction of violence in Iraq and the limited tools Congress has at its disposal.

After the 2006 election loss, which Bush himself described as a thumping, the president replaced Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, the war's main architect. Many saw the move as a sign that Bush would change course and draw down in Iraq.

Bush and his new defense secretary, Robert Gates, did change course. But they decided they needed more, not fewer, troops to pull Iraq back from the brink of all-out civil war.

In January 2007, Bush ordered a "surge" of some 30,000 U.S. troops into Iraq, bringing the total to around 160,000. Petraeus, a counter-insurgency expert with a doctorate from Princeton University, took command the following month.

Petraeus soon made clear he saw his job as not just to improve security in Iraq but also to buy time for his efforts in the United States. He talked about speeding up the " Baghdad clock" and slowing down the " Washington clock."

The general recruited leading Washington military analysts as advisers and encouraged commanders to cultivate good relations with the media. That approach helped produce positive editorials and coverage of U.S. efforts in Iraq.

Even opponents of the war say Petraeus has been successful in winning time, although they are skeptical about progress towards lasting stability among factions in Iraq.

"You've succeeded in putting more time on the Washington clock," Rep. Ike Skelton, chairman of the House of Representatives Armed Services Committee, told Petraeus on Wednesday.

"But the strategic failure is that the Iraqi politicians don't seem to have picked up a sense of urgency," said Skelton, a Democrat from Missouri.

Petraeus says he wants to halt troop drawdowns this summer when the combat forces from the "surge" have left. That should leave about 140,000 U.S. troops in Iraq, officers have said.

Analysts do not expect the total to drop dramatically in the following few months, making it likely Bush will hand over the White House to his Republican or Democratic successor with the number of troops in Iraq fairly close to the 133,700 who were there at the end of November 2006.

Bush has managed to hold his course despite suffering a spate of defections last summer. Several senior Republican lawmakers called publicly for a change in strategy.

But around the same time, violence began to decline substantially in Iraq, thanks partly to the surge of U.S. forces but also to former Sunni insurgents joining the fight against al Qaeda and a ceasefire by Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al Sadr's militia.

The war ceased to become the dominant issue in U.S. politics, particularly as worries about the economy grew.

In a series of votes, Democrats in the House of Representatives have managed to pass timetables for withdrawing U.S. combat forces from Iraq, only to see those efforts fizzle in the Senate, where Democrats have not been able to build a 60-vote majority needed to advance controversial legislation.

"It is clear that we do not have the votes in the United States Congress at this moment in time," said Sen. John Kerry, who had been the Democrats' presidential candidate in 2004.

He said any change in policy would likely have to wait until November's elections when Americans will choose members of all of the House and about a third of the Senate, as well as a new president.

"The American people are going to speak on this in November," Kerry said.

Baku Higher Oil School honors memory of victims of Khojaly genocide (PHOTO)
Baku Higher Oil School honors memory of victims of Khojaly genocide (PHOTO)
Mine explosion kills one in Azerbaijan’s Sugovushan
Mine explosion kills one in Azerbaijan’s Sugovushan
Myanmar police issue arrest warrants for celebrities for endorsing strike movement
Myanmar police issue arrest warrants for celebrities for endorsing strike movement
Loading Bars
COVAX initiative becoming irrelevant: injustice and inequality
Revenues from state insurance payments in Azerbaijan increases - minister
Kazakhstan’s Air Astana company resuming flights to Georgia
Slovenian Railways wants to boost co-op with Azerbaijan in passenger transportation
Turkmenistan interested in developing projects with IOM, using digital technologies
Brent prices to reach $80/bbl by 2Q22 even with OPEC+’s output back to 2019 level
Saudi Arabia to end its voluntary oil production cut
Israel eyes scaling up co-op with Uzbekistan to save Aral Sea
Кazakh Electricity Grid Operating Company opens tender to buy construction materials
Azerbaijan reveals latest data on sales through Azexport portal
Uzbek-Korean JV to buy spare parts for emergency diesel generator via tender
Brent price still vulnerable to any disappointments around global vaccinations
Iran issues data on necessary commodities released from its customs
Pakistani military delegation in Azerbaijan on official visit
Turkey's revenues from exporting cars to Israel down
Turkey reveals number of ships received at Gemlik port in Jan. 2021
Turkey's exports to OIC countries on the rise
Azerbaijani currency rates for March 3
Accreditation of national media for F1 Azerbaijan Grand Prix 2021 begins
Iran's Fereydonkenar Port joins Caspian Sea transportation network
Number of coronavirus cases in Uzbekistan passes 80,000
Oil rises on demand hopes after days of sell-off
Bulgarian companies could participate in recovery projects in Azerbaijan's liberated lands - Ambassador (INTERVIEW)
Finance minister Sunak to promise 'whatever it takes' in new COVID budget plan
Turkish auto sales grow 24.2% in February
Kyrgyzstan introduces temporary ban on export of oil products
EIB, European Council presidents open new EU premises in Georgia
Iran ready to export medical technologies to Syria
Hungary interested in including Azerbaijani gas in country's future energy mix - ambassador (INTERVIEW)
ExxonMobil to cut 7% of its workforce in Singapore
2021 Emmy Awards to be held in September
Ireland to re-establish diplomatic presence in Iran
Azerbaijan to contribute to development of CE work on organizing AI security
Biden takes steps to help Merck boost Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine supply
US Department of Commerce blacklists 14 entities in Russia, Germany, Switzerland
Chinese embassy opposes Indian media's allegation on cyberattacks
OPEC sees positive oil market outlook, continued downside risks
Iran's CBI discloses number and value of exchanged checks
Italian Parliament demands provision of maps of mined areas of Azerbaijan (PHOTO)
AZAL Announces Conditions for Rebooking Tickets for Flights Canceled due to COVID-19 Pandemic
Singapore's manufacturing PMI falls to 50.5 in February
Promise to provide countries with necessary vaccines within COVAX initiative is not fulfilled - State Agency of Medical Insurance
Parliament head to support all joint efforts for new constitution
Georgian President appreciates EU support
Macron to hold phone talk with Iranian counterpart over JCPOA
OECD recommends Georgia to support land registration reform for increasing FDI-SME linkages
Turkmenistan reveals schedule of intercity buses
Azerbaijan's State Tax Service registers Fuzuli Airport LLC
Azerbaijan felt Turkey's support not only during Karabakh war but throughout history - Minister
Int’l Model Non-Aligned Movement Simulation Exercise underway - Azerbaijan Foreign Ministry
Azerbaijan, Germany interested in increasing mutual trade turnover - Deputy minister
Iran's Energy Exchange announces products to be on sale on March 3
Azerbaijani State Agency of Automobile Roads talks about repair and construction on roads
Azerbaijani Finance Ministry places medium-term bonds at auction
Azerbaijan shows footage from Ucbulag village of Fuzuli district (PHOTO/VIDEO)
Georgia to receive first doses of COVID-19 vaccine via Covax platform in February
Irrigation systems to be put into operation in Iran’s agricultural sector
Azerbaijani Defense Ministry shares updated list of martyred servicemen in Second Karabakh War
Larization of loans increase in Georgia
Georgian AgroZone products to be exported abroad from Kutaisi Airport
Turkish specialists together with Azerbaijan’s AzTV to shoot film in Nagorno-Karabakh region
Ro-Pax ferry vessel commissioned by Azerbaijan's president - video report
Azerbaijani winemakers’ production down in 2020
Azerbaijan, Tajikistan discuss development of tourism co-op
Georgia’s banking sector begins year with profit
France uses only quarter of Astrazeneca vaccine doses
Uzbek-Korean JV to buy spare parts for electric actuator via tender
Kazakhstan identifies priority tasks to develop agriculture by 2025
Georgian Ministry of Finance sees decrease in mobilized income tax
Likelihood of interest rate decrease in Azerbaijan for 2021 seems minimal - Unicapital
Azerbaijan's AzNET segment neutralizes more phishing attacks in Jan.2021
Azerbaijan's new borrowings not to raise debt burden - Gazprombank
Azerbaijan studying Turkey's experience to strengthen institution of primary health care (PHOTO)
Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan talk big potential for co-op in agriculture
Hertz set to ride out of bankruptcy with $4.2 billion from investment firms
Money transfers via int'l payment systems down in Kazakhstan
Azercell obtains yet another award on customer experience management
German companies may take part in restoring Azerbaijan's liberated lands - ambassador
Excavation of well in Iran's Ahvaz oil field launched
Uzbekistan considers resuming air communication with Russia
Bahar Azadi gold coin price again falling in Iran
Kazakhstan, Georgia resume mutual flights as COVID-19 restrictions lifted
Uzbekistan eyes expanding mutually beneficial relations with foreign partners
Azerbaijan and Germany to continue co-op on improving qualifications of managers
Generation data of Iran's Shahid Rajaee TPP announced
Lithuania supports subsidizing renewable energy projects in Georgia
Demand for pick-up trucks in Azerbaijan may increase - expert
Kazakhstan boosts agriculture output, sets up tasks for sector's dev't
Turkey issues Jan. 2021 data on passenger traffic at Istanbul Airport
Azerbaijani company discloses output of primary aluminum
Spain's jobless hit four million for first time in five years as pandemic curbs bite
Volume of exports from Iran's Qom Province increases
S.Korean oil company holding exploration on land plots in Uzbekistan
EU executive says joint vaccine strategy not unravelling
Azerbaijan, Germany discuss expanding cooperation in oil & gas sector
Azerbaijani business environment entering recovery period - Minister of Economy
Iran's awaits action from US over JCPOA
Indonesia says identifies two cases of British COVID-19 variant
Europe – Iran held business forum to expand trade
Uzbek-Russian JV completes geological exploration at Akchalak investment block
All news