Will the reality-based community wake up and smell the coffee?
Despite the occasional bursts of violence, Iraq has reached the point where the insurgents, who once controlled whole cities, no longer have the clout to threaten the viability of the central government.
That does not mean the war has ended or that U.S. troops have no role in Iraq. It means the combat phase finally is ending, years past the time when President Bush optimistically declared it had. The new phase focuses on training the Iraqi army and police, restraining the flow of illicit weaponry from Iran, supporting closer links between Baghdad and local governments, pushing the integration of former insurgents into legitimate government jobs and assisting in rebuilding the economy.
I'll fault the story for the somewhat cheap shot at Bush. Referring to Bush's speech declaring major combat operations at an end is appropriate to a degree since that speech was a chronological landmark. On the other hand, two different wars have been waged. Hussein's armies were defeated in short order. The war since that time has been waged against a different opponent. The first war featured conventional tactics. The second involved insurgency and counterinsurgency (COIN), albeit the good guys were slow to adopt the appropriate strategy when the war changed.