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President George W. Bush's handpicked "war czar" doubted the President's latest "troop surge" would work and expressed his doubts during a White House policy review.
Lt. Gen. Douglas Lute has confirmed he voiced his skepticism that the plan would work unless the Iraqis stepped up to the plate and launched its own "surges" to stop the actions.
The revelations come as Lute faces his first day of confirmation hearings before the Senate.
Writes Ann Flaherty of The Associated Press:
In a written response to questions by the Senate Armed Services Committee, Lute confirmed news reports that he had voiced doubts during a White House-led policy review that led to Bush's Jan. 10 announcement that 21,500 more combat troops would go to Baghdad and Anbar province.
The buildup was hotly contested in Congress, including among several Republicans who favored greater pressure on Iraqi security forces to take over combat.
"During the review, I registered concerns that a military 'surge' would likely have only temporary and localized effects unless it were accompanied by counterpart 'surges' by the Iraqi government and the other, nonmilitary agencies of the U.S. government," Lute wrote in a document obtained by The Associated Press.
"I also noted that our enemies in Iraq have, in effect, 'a vote' and should be expected to take specific steps to counter from our efforts," he added. "The new policy took such concerns into account. It is too soon to tell the outcome."
Lute was scheduled to testify in public for the first time Thursday since being picked for the position.