Find Post Investigations On:
Facebook Scribd Twitter
Friendfeed RSS Google Reader
» About This Blog | Meet the Investigative Team | Subscribe
Ongoing Investigation

Top Secret America

The Post explores the top secret world the government created in response to the attacks of Sept. 11.

Ongoing Investigation

The Hidden Life of Guns

How guns move through American society, from store counter to crime scene.

Have a Tip?

Talk to Us

If you have solid tips, news or documents on potential ethical violations or abuses of power, we want to know. Send us your suggestions.
• E-mail Us

Categories

Post Investigations
In-depth investigative news
and multimedia from The Washington Post.
• Special Reports
• The Blog

Reporters' Notebook
An insider's guide to investigative news: reporters offer insights on their stories.

The Daily Read
A daily look at investigative news of note across the Web.

Top Picks
A weekly review of the best
in-depth and investigative reports from across the nation.

Hot Documents
Court filings, letters, audits and other documents of interest.

D.C. Region
Post coverage of investigative news in Maryland, Virginia and the District.

Washington Watchdogs
A periodic look into official government investigations.

Help! What Is RSS?
Find out how to follow Post Investigations in your favorite RSS reader.

Hot Comments

Unfortunately I believe that we are limited in what we can focus on. I think that if we proceed with the partisan sideshow of prosecuting Bush admin. officials, healthcare will get lost in the brouhaha.
— Posted by denamom, Obama's Quandary...

Recent Posts
Bob Woodward

The Washington Post's permanent investigative unit was set up in 1982 under Bob Woodward.


Archives
See what you missed, find what you're looking for.
Blog Archive »
Investigations Archive »

Have a Tip?
Send us information on ethics violations or abuses of power.
E-Mail Us »

Other
Investigations
Notable investigative projects from other news outlets.
On the Web »
Top Picks »

Ex-White House Aide: 'Surge' Wasn't Just About More Troops

POSTED: 03:23 PM ET, 09/15/2008 by Derek Kravitz

Meghan O'Sullivan, the former national security adviser to the Bush administration and a chief architect of the president's surge strategy for the Iraq War, says it is a mistaken notion that the reason for the surge's success was simply that it sent more U.S. troops to Iraq.

"Perhaps more important than the insertion of additional U.S. troops into Iraq was the change in the mission these troops were given," she said in an online chat today with Post readers.

O'Sullivan said the new strategy "designated the primary mission of U.S. forces to be to help the Iraqis protect the population, to provide security to people. This new mission was deemed to be essential to bringing down the violence and creating an environment in which Iraqi leaders could decide how they would share power and resources -- and thereby address the root of the violence."

Sullivan, now a lecturer at Harvard University's Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, resigned last year having been central to the administration's reformulation of its Iraq policies.

Critics questioned whether O'Sullivan, who was 33 when she started at the White House, was "too young for such a challenge and whether the former Brookings Institution scholar with a master's degree and doctorate from Oxford University was too steeped in theory for the job."

At 36, Sullivan had a year's experience in Iraq, The Post's Bob Woodward writes in his new book, "The War Within: A Secret White House History 2006-2008." Eventually, she began to think that the strategy of drawing down, as violence increased in war-torn Iraq, had become "indefensible."

At one point, after an intelligence briefing, Bush asked O'Sullivan: "What are you hearing from people in Baghdad? What are people's daily lives like?"

"It's hell, Mr. President," she replied.

"...she was one of the first, and perhaps most aggressive in telling the president that 'it's hell' in Baghdad, and that the old strategy of training Iraqis was indefensible," Woodward wrote in a recent online chat.

By Derek Kravitz |  September 15, 2008; 3:23 PM ET Post Investigations
Previous: Exclusive Book Excerpts: Cheney Stance Drove White House Crisis | Next: White House Cut China Reference from NASA Talk

Comments

Please email us to report offensive comments.



Post a Comment

We encourage users to analyze, comment on and even challenge washingtonpost.com's articles, blogs, reviews and multimedia features.

User reviews and comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be removed from the site. Additionally, entries that are unsigned or contain "signatures" by someone other than the actual author will be removed. Finally, we will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or privacy policies or any other policies governing this site. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions.




characters remaining

 
 

© 2010 The Washington Post Company