The most encouraging analysis that I have read on the progress of the Iraq War is Michael O’Hanlon and Kenneth Pollack’s Op-Ed piece in today’s New York Times. O’Hanlon is a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, a foreign policy think-tank that is widely regarded as leaning liberal. The authors are no friends of the Bush administration. I have seen and heard O’Hanlon many times over the years, and he is almost always critical of the Iraq War. That is why it is so significant to hear him sounding a different note. Here’s an excerpt:
“Viewed from Iraq, where we just spent eight days meeting with American and Iraqi military and civilian personnel, the political debate in Washington is surreal. The Bush administration has over four years lost essentially all credibility. Yet now the administration’s critics, in part as a result, seem unaware of the significant changes taking place.
“Here is the most important thing Americans need to understand: We are finally getting somewhere in Iraq, at least in military terms. As two analysts who have harshly criticized the Bush administration’s miserable handling of Iraq, we were surprised by the gains we saw and the potential to produce not necessarily ‘victory’ but a sustainable stability that both we and the Iraqis could live with.”
I will not try to summarize the rest of the Op-Ed. But I highly recommend that you read it. This is an important article, and, considering its source, has much credibility.