Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The turnaround in Iraq

The sheer scale of the turnaround in Iraq is incredible. Michael Yon has the statistics in a Power Point presentation (PPT) that shows a remarkable decline in incidents and casualties. Predictions about the future in such a dangerous part of the world are always fraught with risk but Yon is a sober reporter so this carries some weight:

"The war continues to abate in Iraq. Violence is still present, but, of course, Iraq was a relatively violent place long before Coalition forces moved in. I would go so far as to say that barring any major and unexpected developments (like an Israeli air strike on Iran and the retaliations that would follow), a fair-minded person could say with reasonable certainty that the war has ended. A new and better nation is growing legs. What's left is messy politics that likely will be punctuated by low-level violence and the occasional spectacular attack. Yet, the will of the Iraqi people has changed, and the Iraqi military has dramatically improved, so those spectacular attacks are diminishing along with the regular violence. Now it's time to rebuild the country, and create a pluralistic, stable and peaceful Iraq. That will be long, hard work. But by my estimation, the Iraq War is over. We won. Which means the Iraqi people won."

Frederick Kagan, who proposed the 'surge' at the American Enteprise Institute; John McCain, who supported the strategy when it was desperately unpopular, and most of all David Petraeus, who led the operation, and the soldiers risking their lives on the ground deserve all the credit in the world.

1 comment:

malpas said...

How many soldiers and how many mercenaries does it take to hold this 'peace'?
how many tanks and how many helicopters?
And who gets the oil?