Big Rock Candy Mountain

The official voice of the Deseret Liberation Organization

Iraq not the greatest thing ever, somehow

Historian David Silbey attempts to see whether or not Iraq is going well at this point:

Part of the confusion is, in fact, by design. The goal of insurgencies is to deny certainty, certainty of measurement, certainty of victory. Insurgents may not be able to defeat an enemy but they can deny victory, or even the appearance of victory. “Protracted war,” Mao called it. It is, of course, obvious to point out that insurgencies are different from other kinds of wars. It’s worth doing, though, because the political and military discussion in the United States tends to fall prey to the momentum and linearity of conventional thinking, nowhere more so than when America goes to war.

His conclusion: the surge really hasn’t done anything, but the data is far too murky for a definitive conclusion. The post is a great addition to the mass great Iraq analysis currently floating around the blogosphere.

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