“Leading journalists have been reporting for some time that the war was hopeless, a fiasco that could not be salvaged by more troops and a new counterinsurgency strategy. The conventional wisdom in December held that sending more troops was politically impossible after the antiwar tenor of the midterm elections. It was practically impossible because the extra troops didn’t exist. Even if the troops did exist, they could not make a difference.
Four months later, the once insurmountable political opposition has been surmounted. The nonexistent troops are flowing into Iraq. And though it is still early and horrible acts of violence continue, there is substantial evidence that the new counterinsurgency strategy, backed by the infusion of new forces, is having a significant effect.”
Kagan’s entire essay is a worthy read. He rightly notes that the mainstream media is beginning to pick up on the initial success. From a report today by CNN’s Jennifer Deaton and Mohammed Tawfeeq:
“The numbers of deadly attacks, assassination attempts, bombings, mortar strikes and kidnappings have dropped since the mid-February launch of Operation Enforcing the Law, said Iraqi Brig. Gen. Qassim Atta.
The number of civilians killed in Baghdad in the past four weeks was 265, compared with 1,440 killings from mid-January to mid-February, said Atta, a spokesman for the operation.
Atta also reported that 94 terrorists were killed in the February-March period, compared with 19 in the January-February time frame.
Other figures released by Atta included:
# 102 roadside bombings in the February-March period; 163 in the January-February period;
# 36 car bombs in February-March; 56 in January-February
# 109 mortar attacks in February-March; 204 in January-February
# 22 assassination incidents in February-March; 519 in January-February
# 10 kidnapping incidents in February-March; 98 in January-February”
The entire CNN report can be found here.