Non-Surprise of the Day


Whack-a-mole approach to Iraq note working. Good for The Washington Post for laying things out so clearly right here in the lede:

Three months into the new U.S. military strategy that has sent tens of thousands of additional troops into Iraq, overall levels of violence in the country have not decreased, as attacks have shifted away from Baghdad and Anbar, where American forces are concentrated, only to rise in most other provinces, according to a Pentagon report released yesterday.

The surge, as you'll recall, was launched amidst a tide of praise for General David Petraeus, warrior intellectual and student of all things counterinsurgency, who was to be put in charge of the enterprise. All of Petraeus' work on the subject of counterinsurgency, however, along with the things he himself was saying somewhat subtly, all pointed toward the conclusion that peace in Iraq required not a "surge" but political reconciliation between a sufficiently large set of Iraqi factions as to represent the overwhelming majority of Iraqis. The "surge" was, in some vague way, supposed to facilitate that, which it hasn't, it was never a realistic method of securing the country on its own, which is why it hasn't worked.