Winning in Anbar

Petraeus made reference just now to a report from several years ago which described the war in Anbar Province as "lost." Now, obviously, he wants to say things are totally turned around. And certainly the situation has changed a great deal. But hasn't it essentially changed because we substantially surrendered to the insurgency? It used to be that we were fighting the insurgents, trying to establish the authority of the Shiite government, and they were fighting back against us. Now we're paying the insurgents, not trying to establish the authority of the Shiite government, and they're not fighting against us any more.

That's certainly good news for American soldiers serving in Anbar, but that just goes to show the wisdom of trying to bring goals in line with reality, not that can-do spirit can produce victory everywhere.