This post is mostly about mistakes. The troops didn’t sit down with us and tick off all the mistakes that they think we have made in Iraq to date, so what follows isn’t their gripe list being published under my name. They did answer our questions forthrightly and we learned much from interviewing them and just talking with them over chow and listening to their crosstalk in the Humvees. So this post is made up of my observations after seeing the war up close and following it from afar, including mistakes, fumbles and ways forward to win–and what victory actually looks like.
It is very interesting reading and his closing paragraphs begin:
Having said all of this, Iraq is still very winnable. There are mistakes in every war. Iraq is a hideously complex environment to work in and its complexity has to be taken into account. Communities like Al Salam and Khadimiyah in Baghdad prove that at the end of the day most Iraqis value security and the chance to have a normal life above any notions of jihad and sectarianism, and we can work with most Iraqis to make their country safe. Most Iraqis want our troops there now, just not forever. Our troop morale is very high and they are focused on goals that they believe are attainable and will make Iraq stable.