Gen. Douglas Lute, the army general President Bush has appointed to manage the ongoing conflicts in both Iraq and Afghanistan, has questioned President Bush’s strategy of sending thousands more troops into Iraq.

This indication of his sceptism to the further military build-up in Iraq was expected to be discussed this Thursday at Gen Lute’s confirmation hearing in the Senate Armed Services Committee.

In a written response to questions by the Senate panel, Lute confirmed news reports that he had already raised doubts about the military build-up during a White House-led policy review before Bush announcement 10 January that 21,500 extra troops would go to Baghdad and Iraq’s Anbar province.

In a document obtained by The Associated Press Lute wrote: “During the review, I registered concerns that a military ‘surge’ would likely have only temporary and localised effects unless it were accompanied by counterpart ‘surges’ by the Iraqi government and the other, non-military agencies of the US government.”