Captain's Quarters is discussing the Vanity Fair hit job on a group of neo-cons whose views on the war were completely misrepresented.
Michael Rubin's views are particularly apt.
Washington’s word must mean something. Leadership is about responsibility, not just politics. We cannot go around the world betraying our allies — in this case Iraqis who believed in us or allied with us — just because of short-term political expediency.After we left Viet Nam with our tail between our legs a lot of smaller countries felt that America was not a good ally if it was not a vital American interest.
In this case a viable independent Iraqi representative government is in America's vital interest. Most of the country is relatively secure.
This insurgency is handicapped by having to move in the cities prematurely. i.e. from the start. Insurgencies in cities are difficult because operational security is always threatened. Eyes are everywhere and there is money for secrets. Operational security can be preserved better in the mountains. Lines of approach are limited. The reason for the premature move to the cities is that the Kurds control the mountains. They have been an American proctectrate for the last 12 years and have developed a thriving democratic civil society. Should we abandon success?
Or how about the reflooding of the Iraqi marshes which Saddam dried out in revenge for the Marsh Arab Revolt revolt, which was encouraged and then not supported by Bush I?
We have the biggest problem squeezed to the Baghdad area. We can get the upper hand in the intel battle over time. Sources take time to develop. They also represent an operational security probem for our side since they are a point of contact between both sides. So trust must be developed.
Eventually, as the Israelis have found out, enough networks can be developed to provide a fair to good early warning system. With that you start going after central figures. Engineers (for bombings), planners, squad leaders. Keep killing or capturing brains and experience.
All this could take as much as five years. It might take as much as two years to start seeing results. I think some more patience is in order.
Update: 07 Nov '06 2048z
Winds of Change gives this topic good coverage.
Winds of Change in their coverage posted this link to what the troops think