What’s an Iraq War victory?

The other point I pondered while in bed was the Iraq War. Re-read the book “Fiasco: The American Military Adventure in Iraq: Books” by Thomas E. Ricks.

How do we define “victory” in Iraq? We can stay there forever and will eventually have to withdraw.

The Bush administration defines victory in stages:

Short term, Iraq is making steady progress in fighting terrorists, meeting political milestones, building democratic institutions, and standing up security forces.

Medium term, Iraq is in the lead defeating terrorists and providing its own security, with a fully constitutional government in place, and on its way to achieving its economic potential.

Longer term, Iraq is peaceful, united, stable, and secure, well integrated into the international community, and a full partner in the global war on terrorism.To defeat terrorists we kill them. When the terrorists appear no different that the populace we’re protecting, then how do we know when we’ve killed them all. How do we know we’re killing the right people? The parallels to fighting in Vietnam are scary…there we were trying to distinguish the North Vietnamese from our South Vietnamese allies. We found Communists don’t always wear uniforms.

Israel has been fighting Arabs for over half a century and still doesn’t have peace. We are entering our fifth year in Iraq. How can we expect peace in another year or two?

Time is on the side of the insurgents – or what Bush calls “terrorists” or what some might label “freedom fighters”. We can’t kill them all.