Senator John McCain spoke today (Hat Tip: NRO) at the Virginia Military Institute, urging perseverance with the new strategy in Iraq.
These and other indicators of progress are encouraging, but they are not determinative. I understand the damage false optimism does to public patience and support. I learned long ago to be skeptical of official reports that are long on wishful thinking and short on substance. As we make progress in some areas, the enemy strikes where we do not have as great a presence. But security in the capital is indispensable to a greater level of security throughout the country so that political and economic progress can occur. And in Baghdad we are making progress. We have a long way to go, but for the first time in four years, we have a strategy that deals with how things really are in Iraq and not how we wish them to be.
Senator McCain says it right. In hindsight, the war was badly mismanaged in the last four years, but the clock was reset with the implementation of the new strategy in January. And the consequences of giving up prematurely are frighteningly ominous.