Thursday, November 29, 2007


Emerging (AQ) Defeat

Coincident with a theme I touched on in my debate yesterday with Scott Ritter, Austin Bay at Real Clear Politics posts an analysis reflecting on Al-Qaida's Emerging Defeat.

Bay highlights this week’s announcement of a joint, long-term Iraqi and US government security arrangement in the context of another long term initiative, that of Al Qaida trying to achieve strategic objectives in Iraq:

The January 2005 Iraqi election succeeded, giving terrorists and tyrants a disturbing "purple finger" -- the very public ink stains marking the fingers of Iraqi voters.

That election was an incremental success, but one of many. This week's publicized call for a more "normalized" U.S.-Iraq relationship is another indication that the incremental successes are accumulating. Every increment can become a decrement, but war is a dynamic process -- and from a historical perspective the dynamic direction in Iraq has favored the United States -- in other words, the big trend suggests an emerging success.

I know, that runs counter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's April 2007 declaration that the United States "lost" in Iraq, but it was Reid's choice to make himself a sad historical footnote.

This emerging success required lots of money and unfortunately involved lots of blood. I had another document on my Baghdad desk, Musab al-Zarqawi's February 2004 letter to al-Qaida's leaders, in which he lamented al-Qaida's looming defeat.

He also described his counter-strategy: a Shia-Sunni sectarian war. That's war's hideous dynamic, effort met by effort -- with death, pain and suffering in each terrible collision. Zarqawi's murderers did their best to incite a sectarian debacle. Oh, they got headlines, they enlisted a motley array of criminal allies, they set Iraq's democratic timetable back 12 to 24 months -- but they failed.

In concluding his analysis, Bay commends an October 15th article by Tom Ricks in The Washington Post, discussing “al-Qaida's information warfare defeat.”

(Via Instapundit)

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