The "Substance"

Commentary "Harry" challenges me to "address the substance" of the Pollack/O'Hanlon op-ed. Okay, here goes. The critique of US occupation policy since, say, the fall of 2003 has been that US policy in Iraq has focused overwhelmingly on military goals and ignored the fact that the essential problems in Iraq are political. That was true in 2003. It was true in 2004. Interestingly, it was also true in 2005. And, indeed, it was true in 2006. How about 2007? Well, here's Pollack and O'Hanlon:

Here is the most important thing Americans need to understand: We are finally getting somewhere in Iraq, at least in military terms. [...] In the end, the situation in Iraq remains grave. In particular, we still face huge hurdles on the political front.

In short, according to the people who think the surge is working, the surge has, in fact, done nothing whatsoever to address the crucial problems in Iraq.