What Does Success In Iraq Look Like?

General Raymond Odierno gave a graphic picture of what success in Iraq looks like in a Pentagon briefing yesterday. Here are some of the slides he used. This one shows the areas where al Qaeda was active in December 2006; the lighter areas are transit routes. Click to enlarge:

This one shows the same thing, but one year later, in December 2007:

This one shows the decline in coalition members killed in action:

This one tracks the decline in civilian deaths:

General Odierno emphasized this one, which depicts the 90% decline in ethno-sectarian violence in Baghdad between January 2007 and December 2007:

I think most Americans have a vague sense that things have gotten better in Iraq, but few understand the magnitude of the success that Generals Petraeus and Odierno have brought about. Is it too much to hope that before the election season is over, a debate or talk show moderator will display a couple of these slides and ask the Democratic Presidential candidates to justify their policy of pre-emptive surrender?
PAUL responds: Yes, I think that’s probably too much to ask for. The slides I expect to see will be about the economy, assuming there’s a downturn.
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