Friday, March 17, 2006

WaPo - just can't let good news go without criticism

Fighting Smarter In Iraq
By David Ignatius, WaPo Op-Ed

What is it with American media that they cannot report good news without dashing the effect of it all?

Such is the case with armchair, self-perceived military expert, David Ignatius. He details improvements in military strategy in Iraq that is working. But can't seem to do so without slamming that it should have been that way from the onset. All in the first two paragraphs...

BAGHDAD -- Three years on, the U.S. military is finally becoming adept at fighting a counterinsurgency war in Iraq. Sadly, these are precisely the skills that should have been mastered before America launched its invasion in March 2003. It may prove one of the costliest lessons in the history of modern warfare.

I had a chance to see the new counterinsurgency doctrine in practice here this week. U.S. troops are handing off to the Iraqi army a growing share of the security burden. As the Iraqis step up, the Americans are stepping back into a training and advisory role. This is the way it should have happened from the beginning.

The plan... as Iraqis step up to defend their own new country, America steps down. And that plan is working, according to Ignatius. Yet not once, but twice, Ignatius took the plan's success, and did a "tsk tsk". What horse manure.

One must wonder what planet from which Ignatius hails? Have we ever had a perfect campaign in the history of war? Were not mistakes made, and accommodated for in every instance?

I counter his utter nonsense with my own views as another armchair military "expert". Effective military strategy is not coming in with the perfect plan from the beginning (as if one could truly exist), but evolving as the plan put into action morphs and responses from the enemy alter. And in this, the coalition and Iraqi troops have adapted with stellar performance at every turn.

Where is the credit for that? I'll be holding my breath. Even were editorialists to give such credit, they would no doubt slam them for being slow learners.

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