A Man with a Flashlight

The Surge – How do you know when to jump?
April 22, 2007, 11:15 pm
Filed under: The War on Terror

In spite of Harry Reid’s pronouncement that Iraq is lost, the Washington Post reports that sectarian murders in Baghdad are down by two-thirds, and refugees are returning to the city.

Apparently the horrendous multiple suicide bombing on Wednesday could have been quite a lot worse.

Another part of the strategy is to wall off communities along their traditional boundaries to control population access and prevent attacks.

…The walls helped divert the multiple car bombs in Baghdad on Wednesday that killed more than 170 people. Three exploded short of their targets, but the fourth and deadliest vehicle bomber was able to enter a market because someone had removed part of the barrier to gain easier access, U.S. officials said.

And apparently the Baghdad deployment has so far only reached 60% of the target.

Let’s give credit where credit is due: Bush made the right call here. Whether it will affect the ultimate outcome remains to be seen, but the surge seems to have halted Iraq’s downward slide, for the moment.

But how long will that moment last, and how long should we stay? I’m for using this strategy for a short period to give the government one last chance for political compromise. And if they get there, let’s get out as soon as possible and say we won. I don’t see us getting any closer to victory than that. And time is short: the insurgency has adapted quickly in the past, and we may be certain they are adapting to the surge as we speak.


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