It's not hard to see why President Bush has pushed back his unveiling of the 'new' Iraq policy until January.
Just look at the advice he's been getting lately: Withdraw troops. Maintain current troop levels. Send more troops. Negotiate with Iraq's neighbors. Don't negotiate with them. Don't tinker with the Iraqi experiment in Democracy. Work to strengthen the Shiite-Kurd dominated government and focus on fighting the Sunni insurgency that is opposed to it. Shift the fight to Moqtada al-Sadr's Shiite militia and try to get the Sunnis to replace al-Sadr in the governing coalition. Give more responsibility to the Iraqis to police themselves. Take responsibility away by embedding small units composed of U.S. troops in larger Iraqi units. "Redouble" our efforts in Iraq by pouring in as many troops as we can and gamble everything on an all-out offensive to end the violence. De-emphasize Iraq and go on an all-out offensive in Afghanistan.
In other words, name your suggestion, and there is someone who is recommending it to the President.
But here is the rub: Whichever of these suggestions the President uses to cobble together the 'new' Iraq plan (I'm still not sure what the 'old' one was) he had it available to him for the past four years! But the President's by now well-known stubbornness and resistance to change cost us hundreds of billions of dollars and thousands of lives before he even began working on the 'new' plan for Iraq.
Whatever he announces as the new Iraq plan (and IMO, any suggestion that gets us into the pool of quicksand any deeper must be opposed, while other suggestions make some sense), the simple fact that it has taken this long (and obviously even now he was only spurred to action by an election loss fueled by discontent over Iraq) for him to reconsider what we are doing in Iraq should prove the man's incompetence, if there was ever any doubt.