On the January 2 edition of ABC's World News, ABC News chief White House correspondent Martha Raddatz characterized President Bush's upcoming announcement on Iraq, in which he will reportedly call for more U.S. troops, as "a new strategy for victory." By contrast, on the January 2 edition of NBC's Nightly News, NBC News chief Pentagon correspondent Jim Miklaszewski cited an "administration official" who "admitted" that Bush's "surge option is more of a political decision than a military one because the American people have simply run out of patience and President Bush is running out of time to achieve some kind of success in Iraq." The weblog Think Progress also noted Miklaszewski's report.
In characterizing Bush's announcement as "a new strategy for victory," Raddatz echoed previous statements by Bush. In a December 20 press conference, Bush said he was meeting with advisers to discuss options in Iraq and that he was "willing to follow a path that leads to victory" because "[v]ictory in Iraq is achievable." Similarly, in November 2005, the White House released a "National Strategy for Victory in Iraq."
From the January 2 edition of ABC's World News with Charles Gibson:
CHARLES GIBSON (anchor): But might there be any repercussions?
RADDATZ: I think they'll get more pressure. The [Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-]Maliki government will get more pressure. As you know, the president is about to announce a new strategy for victory in Iraq. He has to have the Iraqi government's cooperation in curbing sectarian violence or it will not work.
From the January 2 edition of NBC's Nightly News with Brian Williams:
MIKLASZEWSKI: Administration officials told us late today that President Bush has now all but decided to surge those additional combat troops into Baghdad to try to get control over the violence there, and only then could they accelerate the turnover of territory to Iraqi security forces. Fact is, they're just not up to the task yet.
The plan would also throw more U.S. money at Iraq for reconstruction and a jobs program. Now, interestingly enough, one administration official admitted to us today that this surge option is more of a political decision than a military one because the American people have simply run out of patience and President Bush is running out of time to achieve some kind of success in Iraq. And while this plan will clearly draw some stiff opposition up on Capitol Hill, the president is expected to announce it a week from today.