Monday, October 15, 2007

Have We Defeated Al-Qaeda In Iraq?

Many in the military believe so. This is subscription from the WaPo so I will copy generously:

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 some officials say making a declaration of victory fuel criticism that the Iraqi conflict has become a civil war only and they worry about declaring victory to an adversary that has shown resilience before.

There is widespread agreement that AQI has suffered major blows over the past three months. Among the indicators cited is a sharp drop in suicide bombings, the group's signature attack, from more than 60 in January to around 30 a month since July. Captures and interrogations of AQI leaders over the summer had what a senior military intelligence official called a "cascade effect," leading to other killings and captures. The flow of foreign fighters through Syria into Iraq has also diminished, although officials are unsure of the reason and are concerned that the broader al-Qaeda network may be diverting new recruits to Afghanistan and elsewhere.

Read that paragraph again. It is NOTHING but good news. And it gets better:

The deployment of more U.S. and Iraqi forces into AQI strongholds in Anbar province and the Baghdad area, as well as the recruitment of Sunni tribal fighters to combat AQI operatives in those locations, has helped to deprive the militants of a secure base of operations, U.S. military officials said. "They are less and less coordinated, more and more fragmented," Lt. Gen. Raymond T. Odierno, the second-ranking U.S. commander in Iraq, said recently. Describing frayed support structures and supply lines, Odierno estimated that the group's capabilities have been "degraded" by 60 to 70 percent since the beginning of the year.

While it would be nice to make a declaration of victory, what purpose does that serve? To win the war of words here in America? The left plays that game. We shouldn't. This isn't a Bruce Willis movie where everything is neatly decided in the end. This is real war. Let's just let our boys do the job they need to do and let's not worry about PR here.

Look at what we have accomplished, even with the media's constant barrage of bad news from Iraq and never reporting the good. The left has convinced many Americans that we can't win. But we on the right know better. Forget PR, and let's just win.

The title of this piece is "Al-Qaeda in Iraq reported Crippled." Wasn't this our goal? This is who flew our planes into our buildings. To use a well worn quote, we fought them there so we wouldn't have to fight them here.

And we have.