Congressional Research Service report analyzing the security background to President Bush's announcement on January 10 of a deployment of an additional 21,500 US forces to help stabilize Baghdad and restive Anbar Province, as well as other measures to create jobs and promote political reconciliation.
President Bush, admitting mistakes in Iraq, announced an increase of 21,500 troops to secure Baghdad and Anbar and pressed Iraqi leaders to meet governance benchmarks. A skeptical Democratic majority in Congress plans hearings to scrutinize administration policy.
Because they lack a coherent strategy, U.S. forces in Iraq have failed to defeat the insurgency or improve security. Winning will require a new approach to counterinsurgency, one that focuses on providing security to Iraqis rather than hunting down insurgents. And it will take at least a decade.
The joint resolution of Congress gave President George Bush the authority to use military force against Iraq to "defend the national security of the United States against the continuing threat posed by Iraq and to enforce all relevant United Nations Security Council Resolutions regarding Iraq." President Bush used military force five months after the resolution was passed.