I know what you’re thinking… The National Review’s Corner is the source of much blogging excellence. There are the insights provided by Jonah Goldberg, the complaining about troops-loitering-about-instead-of-killing-islamofascists by Michael Ledeen, the economic perspective of Larry “the greatest story never told” Kudlow, the keen understanding of the battlefield of Rich “We’re Winning” Lowry, the junior high school military approach of Victor Davis Hanson, the unhinged goodness of Mark Steyn, and the, well, however you could possibly describe what K Lo writes, plus the ramblings of a whole host of lesser lights.
So you’re probably wondering… how can they possibly improve? There’s really only one way. Now, they bring you … Freddie Kagan.
Being wrong has its rewards.
In comments, reader Sammy asks what’s wrong with Kagan’s piece. I have two thoughts…
First, even if there was nothing wrong with this piece (and on occasion there is nothing wrong with stuff one or another Corner denizen writes), the issue is not this piece, its the general accuracy and relevance of the Kagan.
That said, the piece contains the following Cornerworthy gem:
America’s ability to withdraw our forces from active combat and ultimately to reduce the number of our forces in Iraq is not tied to the ability of Iraqi units to operate without any support, or to meet particular metrics. It depends much more heavily on two things: the local security situation in a given area, and the ability of Iraqi forces to maintain that security without having U.S. forces actively patrolling with them or conducting military operations for them.
So let’s simplify…
Sentence A: Whether the US can withdraw doesn’t depend on Iraqi units being able to do their thing without American help.
Sentence B: Whether the US can withdraw does depend on Iraqi units being able to do their thing without American help.
This is the sort of keen insight that can only come from the mind of the guy who brought us the Surge. I still say we should ship Freddie Kagan to Iraq and not let him into the Green Zone or a US military base, much less come back, until he finds a way to mitigate the damage he’s done.