A few days ago I posted this entry at MilBlogs:
We’ve won the war.
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I wanted to say that with a very short and to the point post, with none of the ifs, ors or buts that a more reticent observer may have tossed in. I recognize now I should have extended my entry to six words: “We’ve won the war in Iraq”.
I expect that the statement will unnerve the war’s supporters who fear that the next act of violence in Iraq will offer the war’s opponents yet another opportunity to insist we’re defeated – or at least in a “quagmire” – but it’s still a fact (as is that next act of violence). And I realize the degree of rage this will invoke in those opposed to our efforts – at least those who are politically opposed – but given the magnitude of their investment in defeat it should surprise no one if twenty years from now they’re still insisting we lost. As for those engaged in actual armed combat against us, I addressed them in my first followup to that original post:
Lt. Gen. Odierno is absolutely right to note: “it only takes three people” to construct and detonate a suicide car bomb that can “kill thousands”. And John Kerry was wrong when claiming (in an effort to undermine homefront morale in another war) that no one wants to be the last man to die for a mistake. In fact, al Qaeda will always have someone eager to prove him wrong.
Yes, they could pull off a “Tet”. Hell, they could manage something like their own version of the battle of the bulge, but the reality is they’re whipped.
Being in Iraq I can assure you that along with the al Qaeda exclusion there’s a corollary to that Kerry quote that must also be acknowledged: No one wants to be the last man to die for a victory, either. But either way, someone will be “that guy”.