Thursday, August 28, 2008

The Surge is a success?

John McCain talks about The Surge in an interview with time:
You were a very enthusiastic supporter of the invasion of Iraq and, in the early stages, of the Bush Administration's handling of the war. Are those judgments you'd like to revisit?
Well, my record is clear. I believe that the world is better off without Saddam Hussein. I believe it's clear that he had every intention to acquire and use weapons of mass destruction. I can only imagine what Saddam Hussein would be doing with the wealth he would acquire with oil at $110 and $120 a barrel. I was one of the first to point out the failure of strategy in Iraq under [former Defense Secretary Donald] Rumsfeld. I was criticized for being disloyal to the Republicans and the President. I was the first to say I would lose a campaign rather than lose a war. I supported the surge. No observer over the last two years would say the surge hasn't succeeded. I believe we did the right thing.

Italics mine. Last time I checked The Surge was the name given to the tactic of increasing troop strength and increasing police/security activity in the short term for the strategic purpose of reducing violence so that the Iraqi Government could build it's own security and take over administration of the country allowing us to leave.

On a tactical level, the surge has been a success. But it has not achieved the goal, which is to allow the Iraqi government to build it's own security, take over administration and allow us to leave. This seems to be implicitily acknowledged by even those that claim it a success since they talk about it as a more or less permanent approach.

And not every observer thinks it's a success. Yglesias for one doesn't and explains the above much better than I just did.


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