Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Is it Possible? The Liberal Brookings Institute Documents GOOD News in Iraq?







Yes, it seems to be true that both Michael E. O’Hanlon and Kenneth M. Pollack, two Iraq war critics have reported a great deal of progress in Iraq...that’s “good news” to Americans, maybe not so much, for committed hardcore Leftists.

In a piece entitled A War We Just Might Win, which appeared in Monday’s (July 30th) NY Times, they said; “In the past, few Iraqi units could do more than provide a few “jundis” (soldiers) to put a thin Iraqi face on largely American operations. Today, in only a few sectors did we find American commanders complaining that their Iraqi formations were useless — something that was the rule, not the exception, on a previous trip to Iraq in late 2005.

“The additional American military formations brought in as part of the surge, General Petraeus’s determination to hold areas until they are truly secure before redeploying units, and the increasing competence of the Iraqis has had another critical effect: no more whack-a-mole, with insurgents popping back up after the Americans leave.

“Here is the most important thing Americans need to understand: We are finally getting somewhere in Iraq, at least in military terms. As two analysts who have harshly criticized the Bush administration’s miserable handling of Iraq, we were surprised by the gains we saw and the potential to produce not necessarily “victory” but a sustainable stability that both we and the Iraqis could live with.”

“After the furnace-like heat, the first thing you notice when you land in Baghdad is the morale of our troops. In previous trips to Iraq we often found American troops angry and frustrated — many sensed they had the wrong strategy, were using the wrong tactics and were risking their lives in pursuit of an approach that could not work.

“Today, morale is high. The soldiers and marines told us they feel that they now have a superb commander in Gen. David Petraeus; they are confident in his strategy, they see real results, and they feel now they have the numbers needed to make a real difference.

“Everywhere, Army and Marine units were focused on securing the Iraqi population, working with Iraqi security units, creating new political and economic arrangements at the local level and providing basic services — electricity, fuel, clean water and sanitation — to the people. Yet in each place, operations had been appropriately tailored to the specific needs of the community. As a result, civilian fatality rates are down roughly a third since the surge began — though they remain very high, underscoring how much more still needs to be done.”


Read the entire article HERE: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/07/30/opinion/30pollack.html

2 comments:

mal said...

Wouldn't you love to be privy to the private armt-wisting and threats these guys have received since publication?

I sure would!

Don't be surprised if they issue a qualifier down the road.

JMK said...

Yeah, that could be a rough patch ahead for those two.

Think about the NY Times, and the infighting that had to go on there over publishing a piece that effectively undermined everything their editorial page has said over the past few months!

You're right that they may look to qualify that, down the line, but perhaps they just want to get ahead of the curve. With real progress coming in Iraq and their military and police nearing readiness, they might not have wanted to look so completely out of touch with what was going on.

I think there's still a ways to go to get Iraq stable, but they seem to be moving in that direction....I just hope it's fast enough.

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