Tuesday, October 16, 2007

The Surge Can't Be Allowed to Succeed

The Washington Post is carrying an editorial by 12 former Army Captains today. Given the recent reduction in violence, the Anbar Awakening, and the possible spread of that phenomenon to the Shia areas of Baghdad, you would think that the editorial might say something like "It's been a long hard road but we are making progress let us continue". You would be wrong. What it says is, "No way we can ever win let's take our toys and go home".

Today marks five years since the authorization of military force in Iraq, setting Operation Iraqi Freedom in motion. Five years on, the Iraq war is as undermanned and under-resourced as it was from the start. And, five years on, Iraq is in shambles.

As Army captains who served in Baghdad and beyond, we've seen the corruption and the sectarian division. We understand what it's like to be stretched too thin. And we know when it's time to get out.

Their observations seem at odds with what I am reading and seeing on the news.

Instapundit has a round up of reaction to this editorial:

BOB OWENS: "I value the writers' service and their opinions as soldiers who have served in Iraq, but wouldn't this editorial have meant more if the Washington Post had managed to find soldiers to write it who had actually been in in Iraq in the last year?" Yeah, things change fast. In 2006, Anbar was written off.

Just remember, Michael Yon is in Iraq right now. Why doesn't the Post ask him for an oped? Drop me a line, Post editors, if you're having trouble reaching him. I'll give you his satellite phone number.

UPDATE: Related thoughts here, including this: "Petraeus’ erstwhile counter-insurgency advisor, Australian LTC David Kilcullen, said an interesting thing recently. When you served in Iraq tends to color how you view Iraq."

ANOTHER UPDATE: Murdoc is suspicious.

MORE: From Iraq, Greyhawk writes: "We've won the war."

Well, that's a relief, though some will find it disturbing.

Updated 16 Oct 2007 - Curt at Flopping Aces has a ton more on this.

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