"By contrast, in Iraq, the Reaganite stratagem of supportive subtlety (let our friends fight our enemies) was rejected in favor a grander strategy (let us fight our enemies directly). The U.S. went into Iraq as we did in Vietnam, with flags flying and lots of boots on the ground. And, as in Vietnam four decades ago, the experience in Iraq has proved much more difficult than most experts anticipated. Also as with Vietnam, opinions on the wisdom of the war vary widely, as do opinions on what to do now. But this much seems clear: If at all possible, the Reagan idea — letting locals do the fighting, backstopped by Uncle Sam — is superior to the idea of having Uncle Sam himself climb into the ring."