Phil Carter takes the most pessimistic view of the reasons behind the recent progress in Iraq. While each element of his case has some truth to it, all noted here before, on the whole it speaks more of an unwillingness to credit the change in strategy than an objective assessment. Nevertheless the caveats are worth reading, and also they don’t leave us in a different place from what I believe, and still do, makes sense:
The risk now is that we will claim success too early, reduce our forces, watch violence increase, and lack the ability to do anything about it. Now is the time for patience, both in Baghdad and Washington. Victory in counterinsurgency, if such a thing exists, takes months, even years, to achieve. The only thing certain about this week’s good news is that it will take a lot of work to produce more of it.
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