Liberty Just in Case

A Dialogue for the September 12th World

How to Win in Iraq…

Posted by Mark on March 30, 2007

and how to lose. An excellent column from OpinionJournal.

It is indeed striking that war critics like Sens. Harry Reid and Joseph Biden, who in 2005 were calling on the Pentagon to mount a proper counterinsurgency campaign in Iraq, and to send enough troops to make it happen, should now be seeking ways to revoke legislative authority for that very operation. Exactly why they should have changed their minds on the issue is not obvious, although they and their colleagues do claim to be expressing not only their own judgment but the opinions and sentiments of the American people at large. If recent polls are to be trusted, however, these politicians may well turn out be wrong about popular sentiment. And if past history and our current experience in Iraq are any guide, they are certainly wrong about the war on the ground. 

In fact, the historical record is clear. The roots of failure in fighting insurgencies like the one in Iraq are not military. To the contrary, Western militaries have shown remarkable skill in learning and relearning the crucial lessons of how to prevail against unconventional foes, and tremendous bravery in fighting difficult and unfamiliar battles. If Iraq fails, the cause will have to be sought elsewhere.  


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