It took Bush three years to find his general (as it did Lincoln) and turn a losing war into a winnable one. Baghdad and Washington are currently discussing a long-term basing agreement that could give the United States permanent military presence in the region and a close cooperative relationship with the most important country in the Middle East heartland -- a major strategic achievement.
Nonetheless, the pressure on this administration and the next to get out prematurely will remain. There are those for whom our only objective in Iraq is reducing troop levels rather than securing a potentially critical Arab ally in a region of supreme strategic significance.
On North Korea and Iran, with no real options at hand, the Bush administration heads to the finish line doing what Sen. George Aiken once suggested for Vietnam: Declare victory and go home. With no good options available, those decisions are entirely understandable. But if Bush or his successor does an Aiken on Iraq, where success is a real option, history will judge him severely.
Friday, December 21, 2007
Friday dose of Krauthammer: