If everything goes right, large swathes of Baghdad could gradually be brought under control. Then American and Iraqi units could pursue a "spreading inkblot" strategy — another classic counterinsurgency concept — to increase the pacified zone outward.
Of course that's a big if. It may be that we still don't have enough troops to successfully carry out this strategy. It may be that we don't have the will to see it through. It may be that we don't have enough reliable Iraqi partners. But considering the massive investment we have already made in Iraq, and the lack of good alternatives, it seems worth one final effort to see if we can salvage something from this dire situation.
Jan 17, 2007
You got a better idea?
Max Boot on the surge.