June 15, 2006

Incremental progress

from - RSA

One thing that Bush emphasizes in his speeches is that we're making progress in Iraq. This may be true, but it really depends on how we measure progress. How should we? I thought I'd try to come up with a reasonable list of concrete, quantitative measures, which would help me see if I'm too pessimistic (or even too optimistic) about the war and its eventual outcome. In my Web search, though, I ran across an article from the Weekly Standard, by Robert Kagan and William Kristol, which slightly derailed my search. Here's a sample:

We may have turned a corner in terms of security. . .

This administration did not do a particularly good job of preparing for postwar Iraq before the invasion, and it has not always made the right decisions on how to proceed politically, diplomatically, and militarily in the reconstruction of Iraq. . . But the most important thing the administration has done is to make clear, both in word and in deed, its determination to see our mission in Iraq completed.

This article was written in March, 2004, a year after the invasion and, of course, well over two years ago. It's obvious that the same people are saying the same thing about Iraq and will probably continue to do so indefinitely. Nowadays they may add, "It's slow going."

This answer has become (actually, it's always been) unsatisfactory. Are we making progress? Are we losing ground? I want the President to tell us what we should look at to understand the situation.

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Posted by RSA at June 15, 2006 05:01 PM
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