Rich Tucker

Not only are we making progress, but we’re learning what works. “We forget that the U.S. Army and Marines, far from being broken, now have the most experienced and wizened officers in the world,” Hanson added on NRO. Indeed we do, and we’ll eventually need those troops to engage our enemies again, whether in the Middle East, Africa or wherever they are.

The war in Iraq shouldn’t be a partisan issue here at home. After all, it isn’t one to our enemies. Ayman al-Zawahiri, al-Qaeda’s deputy leader, showed last December that he understands the larger implications of Iraq. “[Democrats] are not the ones who won the midterm election, nor are the Republicans the ones who lost,” al-Zawahiri said. “Rather the Mujahideen—the Muslim Ummah’s vanguard in Afghanistan and Iraq—are the ones who won, and the American forces and their Crusader allies are the ones who lost.”

A friend of mine, who served in both Afghanistan and Iraq, puts it this way: “For better or for worse, Iraq is NOW a part of the war on terror. We need to try things until they work. Part of achieving the political solution is getting the military situation right.”

Every American would like the war in Iraq to be the final war we have to fight. It would be wonderful if we could leave Iraq and see peace break out everywhere. Suddenly, “arms would be for hugging,” and we could all “give peace a chance.” But the real world isn’t a bumper sticker.

Our troops seem to be making progress. Let’s give them time to fully implement their new strategy, so we’ll know if it works. That will help us win this war, and be better prepared for the inevitable next one.

Rich Tucker

Rich Tucker is a communications professional and a columnist for