This has to be today’s top story:
The U.S. military believes it has dealt devastating and perhaps irreversible blows to al-Qaeda in Iraq in recent months, leading some generals to advocate a declaration of victory over the group, which the Bush administration has long described as the most lethal U.S. adversary in Iraq.
But as the White House and its military commanders plan the next phase of the war, other officials have cautioned against taking what they see as a premature step that could create strategic and political difficulties for the United States. Such a declaration could fuel criticism that the Iraq conflict has become a civil war in which U.S. combat forces should not be involved. At the same time, the intelligence community, and some in the military itself, worry about underestimating an enemy that has shown great resilience in the past.
“I think it would be premature at this point,” a senior intelligence official said of a victory declaration over AQI, as the group is known.
It’s unlikely that AQI is fully defeated, but that’s hardly the point. What the Army and Marines have managed to do – and in remarkably short order – is give Baghdad the breathing room it needs solve its political crisis.
Can the Iraqis do it? I don’t know. But I do know that now they have a chance – something the Surrender Brigades of the Left (and a few on the Right) would never have given them.
UPDATE: More here, from Neoconnews. I’d never heard of these guys – and with a name like that? What, did I get kicked out of the Conspiracy?