With regard to Obama’s position on the surge, Andy you’re zeroing in on something crucial. Last year, before the success of the surge became undeniable, those who opposed the surge frequently noted that the Sunni Awakening began months before the surge and any progress, if it happened at all, would likely be attributable to that, rather than the increased troop levels.
This was the same tack Obama took when he questioned Petraeus last September:
I think the surge has had some impact, as I suggested. I would hope it would, given the sacrifices and loss that have been made. I would argue that the impact has been relatively modest given the investment.
And I have to say that, based on my testimony, it is not clear to me that the primary success that you’ve shown in Anbar has anything to do with the surge. You said, in this testimony, that it’s political the reason for the success in Anbar, not because of an increase in troop strength.
Proponents of the surge, of course, rightly pointed out that it was the presence of U.S. troops backing up the Sunni efforts that allowed the awakening in the first place, and increased troop levels would provided added support to the ongoing progress of the awakening.
So while Obama is admitting some sort of “convergence” between the two, in order to avoid admitting that he was spectacularly wrong he has to maintain this pointless charade that the two events weren’t complementary but rather separate developments.
Now heaven forfend any member of the media ask him what evidence he has to justify this ridiculous position.