December 21, 2008

MICHAEL PORTILLO: Britain has lost the stomach for a fight. “Blair’s military adventures exposed the gap between Britain’s pretensions and capabilities and perhaps between our aspirations and national character.” Plus this: “The secondary cause of failure was a misplaced British disdain for America, shared by our politicians and senior military. . . . Pride has certainly come before a fall. British commanders underestimated both the enemy’s effectiveness and the Americans’ ability to adapt. Some apparently failed even to observe how much had changed. . . . If a fair-minded account of the Iraq war is written, credit should go to President Bush for rejecting two years ago the report by the bipartisan Iraq Study Group that called for force reductions. He defied conventional wisdom and ordered a troop surge instead. It has been an extraordinary success and, unlike Britain, the Americans will not withdraw in defeat.”

UPDATE: Mark Steyn comments.

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