LA Times: The neocons are back already, and they're behind the "surge."
But now, a small but increasingly influential group of neocons are again helping steer Iraq policy. A key part of the new Iraq plan that President Bush is expected to announce next week — a surge in U.S. troops coupled with a more focused counterinsurgency effort — has been one of the chief recommendations of these neocons since the fall of Saddam Hussein in 2003.Kristol and Kagan are the definitive neoconservatives, though the article notes the split within neocon ranks:
This group — which includes William Kristol, editor of the Weekly Standard magazine, and Frederick W. Kagan, a military analyst at a prominent think tank, the American Enterprise Institute — was expressing concerns about the administration's blueprint for Iraq even before the invasion almost four years ago.
Some leading neoconservatives do not embrace the troop surge proposal.It is, of course, also a repudiation of the Rumsfeld doctrine.
Wolfowitz, for instance, ridiculed the notion that more troops would be needed to secure Iraq than were used in the invasion.
And Richard N. Perle, a former top advisor to the Pentagon who also advocated for smaller troop numbers at the time of the invasion, is known to be skeptical of the idea of a surge.
The plan's advocates acknowledge the split.
"Before the war, I was arguing for a quarter of a million troops in expectations we'd be there five or 10 years," said Gary J. Schmitt, an analyst at the American Enterprise Institute who has worked closely with Kristol and Kagan. "Richard Perle, obviously somebody else who's thought of as a neocon, thought we should go in" with far fewer U.S. forces.