PRESIDENT BUSH ON IRAQ
Drudge has the transcript
. Ideologically, the President reiterated a very strong commitment to democracy and political liberalism in Iraq. Secondly, there was not an inch of retreat in prosecuting the War on Terror in the face of recent Democratic criticism from the appeasement-Left candidates running for that party's nomination. Most importantly, Bush backed his speech with a real commitment in dollars. In terms of values, everything I could ask to be said by Bush was said.
The only exception to my general euphoria is the policy matter of the size of the military which seems to have been taken off the table by Rumsfeld despite a widespread realization in Congress stretching from Charles Rangel to John McCain that we are short on troops. I'm not sure why this is given that the administration spends money like drunken sailors in every other matter so the long-term commitment in terms of dollars to add a couple of divisions cannot be the trouble ( recall the US spent 6% of it's GDP on defense circa 1986, about two and a half to three times what we spend today). My guess is that adding extra troops would make it harder for Rumsfeld to engineer the " Revolution in Military Affairs " transformation because extra manpower would reinforce the desires of the brass to stick to current, modified Cold War military doctrines with which they feel most comfortable. The Army likes it's heavy armor, the Navy it's carriers, the Air Force it's B-1 bombers and hyperperformance fighters - getting them to move to lighter, faster, integrated, high technology doctrines requires dragging unwilling, autonomous bureaucracies accustomed to outwaiting and frustrating Defense Secretaries.
In any event, the war should have a higher priority than inside-the-beltway combat and more troops would relieve the stress on military families and overall combat readiness. It should be done intelligently before Congress does so without focus and with much irrelevant pork in the bargain.