The New Reality in Iraq (The Wall Street Journal)
The New Reality in Iraq
The Weekly Standard, July 16, 2009
By Frederick W. Kagan, Kimberly Kagan, and Jack Keane
All of the most important objectives of the surge have been accomplished in Iraq. The sectarian civil war is ended; al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) has been dealt a devastating blow; and the Sadrist militia and other Iranian-backed militant groups have been disrupted.
Meanwhile, the Iraqi government has accomplished almost all of the legislative benchmarks set by the U.S. Congress and the Bush administration. More important, it is gaining wider legitimacy among the population. The attention of Iraqis across the country is focused on the upcoming provincial elections, which will be a pivotal moment in Iraq's development.
The result is that we have an extraordinary – but fleeting – opportunity to advance America's security and the stability of a vital region of the world.