Unusual Democratic Praise for Bush on Troop Surge

Levin cites Bush's troop surge deliberations to defend Obama's drawn-out decision on Afghanistan.


By Paul Bedard, Washington Whispers

It doesn't happen often, but an influential Senate Democrat has given former President Bush credit for overruling his ground commanders and approving the Iraq troop surge. "Bush made the right decision, as it turned out," said Sen. Carl Levin, the Armed Services Committee chairman, who opposed the surge. Levin made the comment in defense of President Obama's drawn-out review of Afghanistan war commander Gen. Stanley McChrystal's new strategy and troop surge request. "Taking time to deliberate is appropriate," said Levin. Bush took months, and shifted his war command, during his deliberation. Levin sounded hopeful that Obama might break with McChrystal on the troop issue the way Bush did with Gen. George Casey, who didn't want as many new troops as Bush eventually approved in the surge. He also used the Bush example to push back on GOP efforts to haul McChrystal before Congress to testify about his plan before Obama decides. "We never tried to call in General Casey," said Levin.

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