Yesterday, we noted how the Iraqi army has taken control, for now, of Sadr City. This accomplishment follows a campaign in Basra that even the New York Times has acknowledged was successful. .
And the good news doesn’t stop here. Max Boot points out that in Mosul, considered the last stronghold of Al Qaeda in Iraq. the number of daily attacks has dropped at least 85 percent since U.S.-Iraqi forces began an offensive against Sunni insurgents in the city earlier this month. This according to Maj. Gen. Mark Hertling, commander of Multi-National Division North.
More generally, the rope continues to tighten around the neck of al-Qaeda. While acknowledging that it remains a threat to stability, Army Lt. Gen. Martin Dempsey, interim head U.S. Central Command, finds that al Qaeda is in its weakest state since it gained an initial foothold in the aftermath of the U.S.-led invasion five years ago. Simply put, these terrorists are running out of places where local Iraqis will accommodate their extremist ideology. And when al Qaeda does find a foothold somewhere, as in Mosul, U.S.-Iraqi forces can deliver a drubbing.
This means, as Peter Wehner puts it, that “the debate has shifted from what the right strategy is to one of national will.” In other words, “Will our nation, weary of this long and costly war, continue along the path which has brought about indisputable, and in some cases breathtaking, progress?” If so, “there will be honor in our efforts–and, it’s now reasonable to say, success as well.”
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