Monday, September 10, 2007

U.S. Can Do

I there's one thing I'd like the US to take away from recent Iraq experience as presented by General Petraeus, it would be that there's nothing they can't do in Iraq. That's not the same as saying they can impose order everywhere at will- it's that whole regions can be tamed when the US is concerted in its approach. More than anything, when it shows that it just won't back down.

Here's a nice graphic from Petraeus' presentation:

(click to enlarge. More graphics here)

You can see the rising tide of violence, a slow wave rising in various particulars of violence, interrupted and brought back to levels that indicate one thing- respite. The product of the so-called "surge".

It's interesting to me, because it not only confirms that commitment brings success, but also that I was right in thinking that the violence had been on a gradual but steepening incline from the end of 04 (with a small break after the Iraqi general election- were some of the Islamofascists holding their breath, waiting to see if...?).

If you couple it with stories like this one from Michael Yon, it begins to look as though commitment wins success, fighting works, and Iraq is no quagmire- though it's the kind of unruly beast that requires constant discipline mixed with reassurance.

It's not a great deal of information, admittedly, but it's of a lot more value than the latest BBC-Iraq poll. The complexities of such an undertaking when asking detailed questions according to western priorities ought to be obvious. I wonder what the Arabic for "surge" is?

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