Jack Kelly argues that we are making substantial military headway in Iraq. He notes that “car bombings, al-Qaida’s specialty, have fallen from (a record high of) 170 in April to 151 in May to 133 in June, with less than 100 so far in July.” He also points to dramatic progress in the crucial area of training Iraqis to fight the terrorists:
Anthony Cordesman of the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a Washington-D.C. -based think tank, has been pessimistic about Iraq. He returned from a recent visit singing a different tune:
“If current plans are successfully implemented, the total number of Iraqi military and police units that can honestly be described as trained and equipped should rise from 96,000 in September 2004, and 172,000 today to 230,000 by the end of December and 270,000 by mid-2006,” he said.
Kelly speculates that al Qaeda may shifting its resources from Iraq, where they are taking a pounding, to Europe and elsewhere in Middle East. This prompts Kelly’s trenchant concluding observation:
If al-Qaida is indeed shifting personnel out of Iraq, expect to hear more about Iraq as an “incubator” for terrorism. But what, pray tell, do the promoters of this theory imagine Zarqawi and his minions would have been doing these past two years if there had been no war in Iraq? Origami?