Five stages of grief: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, Acceptance.

Judging from the quote in the title, Bush is on the third step:

As he searches for a new strategy for Iraq, Bush has now adopted the formula advanced by his top military adviser to describe the situation. “We’re not winning, we’re not losing,” Bush said in an interview with The Washington Post. The assessment was a striking reversal for a president who, days before the November elections, declared, “Absolutely, we’re winning.”

So it’s a tie? A do-over? What’s the status here? We’re in limbo?

Well, what about the military?

In another turnaround, Bush said he has ordered Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates to develop a plan to increase the troop strength of the Army and Marine Corps, heeding warnings from the Pentagon and Capitol Hill that multiple deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan are stretching the armed forces toward the breaking point.

“We need to reset our military,” said Bush, whose administration had opposed increasing force levels as recently as this summer. Gates, who was sworn in Monday, arrived in Baghdad this morning for several days of meetings with U.S. military commanders and Iraqi officials.

Sounds good…however…

A substantial military expansion will take years and would not immediately affect the war in Iraq. But it would begin to address the growing alarm among commanders about the state of the armed forces. Although the president offered no specifics, other U.S. officials said the administration is preparing plans to bolster the nation’s permanent active-duty military with as many as 70,000 additional troops.

Yes…it certainly is nice to want things. Let’s hope that Bush finds the fifth stage of grief before more of our men and women have to die needlessly.

Home Politics Bush: “We’re not winning, we’re not losing.”