Progress in Iraq

Michael O’Hanlon and Kenneth Pollack of the Brookings Institution, who have both been critical of President Bush’s handling of the war, have just come back from Iraq and have taken to the NY Times op-ed page to report genuine progress taking place. They note high morale among the troops, better cooperation between U.S. soldiers and their Iraqi counterparts, and more and more responsibilities being taken on by Iraqi security forces. They also note that “General Petraeus’s determination to hold areas until they are truly secure before redeploying units, and the increasing competence of the Iraqis has had another critical effect: no more whack-a-mole, with insurgents popping back up after the Americans leave.”

While a lot of challenges remain–especially on the political front–the authors conclude, “there is enough good happening on the battlefields of Iraq today that Congress should plan on sustaining the effort at least into 2008.”