Defense Secretary Bob Gates delivered an implicit slap at Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice today before the Senate Armed Services Committee. Discussing the new defense budget and the president's escalation plan for Iraq, Gates contended
"We clearly are hoping it will succeed, planning for it to succeed, allocating the resources for it to succeed -- but I would tell you that I think I would be irresponsible if I weren't thinking about what the alternatives might be if that didn't happen," Gates told Sen. John W. Warner (R-Va.). "But we, at this point, are planning for its success."
Barely a month ago, in testimony to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Rice said that contingency planning equated to an unacceptable pessimism
Top administration officials are however adamant that contemplating an alternative would simply doom the current plan to failure.
"I don't think you go to plan B. You work with plan A," Secretary of State
Condoleezza Rice said Thursday, explaining why the administration had no contingency plans lined up.
"You work with plan A and you give it the possibility of success, the best possibility of success."
No word yet on what the contingency planning actually is -- or whether its any more responsible than the surge itself.