For The Record

"There were, in other words, no expressions of concern by Andrew that we did not have enough troops soon after the invasion began ... if you’re going to claim credit for having been right about some aspects of the Iraq war, it probably strengthens your case if what you claim you said at the time is accurate, as opposed to very nearly the opposite of what you claim." - Pete Wehner, Commentary.

WHERE WE ARE: I wish I knew. I doubt anyone but the people running this war know for sure... So far, the worst hasn't happened. But there are obvious worries as well. The Shi'a population in the South is still not sure of an allied victory. It seems we under-estimated their skittishness about an allied war - due in large part to their understandably bitter feelings at being betrayed in 1991. If we had more overwhelming force in the region, that may have been less of a problem. But it appears we don't, for reasons of logistics and Turks but also of war planning," - the Daily Dish, March 26, 2003. Italics added.

"There clearly were enough troops to win the war. It's a separate question whether we now have sufficient troops to keep the peace. Two different issues. Two different views. Are they related? Somewhat. But we've had almost a month to get more troops in place - plenty of time. My criticism is directed at the post-war order, not the war-plan," - the Daily Dish, May 7, 2003. By war-plan here, I'm referring to the invasion, not the subsequent occupation. And I'm worrying that more troops have not arrived.

"THE MESS IN IRAQ: All the signs are pointing to a serious screw-up. Patience is one thing. But the reporting from the country, including this devastating account from a pro-war writer, suggests that the state of affairs there is spiraling out of control. Even if the voters won't punish Bush for finding no WMDs, they sure as hell will hold him responsible if Iraq collapses into chaos or civil war. And they should," - the Daily Dish, May 17, 2003.

"LOSING THE PEACE: I think it's pretty obvious by now that the Pentagon has seriously misjudged the post-war situation in Iraq... 160,000 troops for a country the size of Iraq is not sufficient, certainly not in the short term. Shinseki was right in this respect; and Wolfowitz was wrong," - the Daily Dish, May 18, 2003.

I made my mistakes in assessing Iraq but Pete is being unfair here. I worried very quickly about the troop levels needed to retain order. If my errors are worth cataloguing so are the things I got right. Wehner, at the same time, was working in an administration that refused to acknowledge these concerns for more than three more years. And he's bashing me!