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July 14, 2008

Hitchens: Fighting in Iraq vs. Fighting in Afghanistan and Zero Sum Stupidity

He addresses the "war of choice vs. war of necessity" arguments, and concludes they're empty-headed. I'd add it's a sign the opponents of the war are struggling with the reality of genuine success of counter-insurgency operations in Iraq.

He also notes that many Al-Qaeda wound up in Iraq having been pushed out of Afghanistan, including al-Zarqawi.

If it is true, as yesterday's three-decker front-page headline in the New York Times had it, that "U.S. Considering Stepping Up Pace of Iraq Pullout/ Fall in Violence Cited/ More Troops Could Be Freed for Operations in Afghanistan," then this can only be because al-Qaida in Iraq has been subjected to a battlefield defeat at our hands—a military defeat accompanied by a political humiliation in which its fanatics have been angrily repudiated by the very people they falsely claimed to be fighting for.

The anti-war "get out fast" strategy would have thrown away this critical advantage. Instead we've badly beaten an insurgency both militarily and politically, and are applying the lessons learned to achieve the same results in Afghanistan.

Ace made the point a while back, it's possible this success could not have been achieved earlier. There's a tipping point, where in order to deny your enemy a base of operations, you have to win over the populace. They have to decide (out of survival) where to cast their lot. It's pretty clear now the choice they made. Politically, Maliki's government benefits from that choice and is able to assert itself, as the latest of Mookie's "adjustments" to his Mahdi Army, Divisions, Brigades, Gangs, Book Club demonstrates.


via HotAir headlines

Also at HA: The Beeb says Maliki's "timetable" statement might have been misreported.


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posted by Dave In Texas at 03:35 PM

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