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December 21, 2005

Victory Conditions

Tigerhawk has posted a tour de force analysis of what victory will look like, and how to tell in the short term if we're moving in the right direction. What is most interesting about this is that it, like Steven Den Beste's justly famous analysis of our reasons for fighting Iraq, is not unique in its content, only in its drawing together of a lot of strains of thought into a coherent and unified vision. And this coherence and unity of vision is so rare it needs to be called out when it comes. Den Beste, Wretchard, Winds of Change, and many other commenters have said much the same (I've made several of the same points, such as the need to humiliate the jihadis), but no one has brought together the individual strands into a coherent whole like Tigerhawk has done. As a result, we now have a very useful foundation document and base for thinking about the long-term strategy in the war: we have a framework for building metrics. And that is no small thing.

One interesting thought that occurs to me, too, is that the President has also made many of these same points in speeches, also without much coherence or unity of vision. Indeed, one of Tigerhawk's commenters goes so far as to say:

I couldn't agree more, but it's not just the leftists for whom the Hawk's thinking would be too much effort. Would Bush, or Cheney, or Rumsfeld take the time and make the effort to profit from the work of people like DenBeste and Tigerhawk? Fat Chance.

Yet, as I noted, the President, and the Vice President, and the Secretary of Defense, and for that matter both of President Bush's Secretaries of State, have all made these points and others. It would be a lot of work to go back through administration officials' speeches over the last four years and fit them to this framework (as well as noting divergences). I don't have the time, sadly, but I would love to see if the administration's strategic vision lines up with Tigerhawk's analysis.

Posted by jeff at December 21, 2005 7:27 AM

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