Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Standing fast

Political commentator Michael Barone, in a July 12 article at National Review Online, compares President Bush's decision to proceed with the surge in Iraq with President Truman's one to start the Berlin airlift in 1948. Each acted against the advice of prominent experts and advisors. (For the link, click here and scroll down. Thanks to Paul.)

Both Secretary of State George Marshall and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Omar Bradley urged Truman to abandon Berlin. Instead, he insisted on staying and drew on the expertise and experience of General William Turner, who had organized the Burma airlift to China during World War II. Prominent former officials like Jim Baker and Lee Hamilton argued against the surge; Bush had only the support of a few experts like retired General Jack Keane and scholar Frederick Kagan, and the expertise of General Petraeus.

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