wait... i thought Bush was letting the commanders on the ground iron out this last-ditch surge, not another thinktank ... oops... nope... lied to again... Earlier this month, President Bush affirmed his commitment to his escalation plan, stating, âIâm going to remind the people in the audience today that troop levels will be decided by our commanders on the ground, not by political figures in Washington, D.C.â But the DC Examiner reports today that âa bunch of arm chair generals in Washingtonâ from the American Enterprise Institute âalmost single handedly convinced the White House to change its strategyâ in weekend meetings last December. The AEI escalation plan reportedly âwon out over plans from the Pentagon and U.S. Central Commandâ: Arm chair generals help shape surge in Iraq WASHINGTON (Map, News) - When it comes to the troop surge in Iraq, a bunch of arm chair generals in Washington are influencing the Bush Administration as much as the Joint Chiefs or theater commanders. A group of military experts at the American Enterprise Institute, concerned that the U.S. was on the verge of a calamitous failure in Iraq, almost single handedly convinced the White House to change its strategy. They banded together at AEI headquarters in downtown Washington early last December and hammered out the surge plan during a weekend session. It called for two major initiatives to defeat the insurgency: reinforcing the troops and restoring security to Iraqi neighborhoods. Then came trips to the White House by AEI military historian Frederick Kagan, retired Army Gen. John Keane and other surge proponents. More and more officials began attending the sessions. Even Vice President Dick Cheney came. "We took the results of our planning session immediately to people in the administration," said AEI analyst Thomas Donnelly, a surge planner. "It became sort of a magnet for movers and shakers in the White House." Donnelly said the AEI approach won out over plans from the Pentagon and U.S. Central Command. The two Army generals then in charge of Iraq had opposed a troop increase.