Evaluating the Surge

I don’t think the Surge in Iraq is working. What I mean by that is… it seems to me that in general, violence and ethnic cleansing hasn’t diminished, and ethnic and political reconciliation hasn’t increased. Additionally, I don’t expect any time in the near future (say, in the next Friedman or two) us to see much or any reduction in violence and ethnic cleansing (well, if ethnic cleansing is successful enough, there will be a quick drop in violence following), nor do I expect ethnic and political reconciliation hasn’t increased.

Now… what does someone who believes the Surge is working expect to see in the next Friedman or two? Will I be able to take a flight to Baghdad and stroll around like a tourist (i.e., without a military escort) wherever I choose? Will people move back into formerly mixed neighborhoods? Will the car bombings stop? Will bodies with drill-holes in their knees and elbows stop appearing in the streets? Because if the answer to all of these is no, well, then what is the difference between the Surge working and the Surge not working?

If you think the Surge is working… give us your prediction for the next six months or a year. And make sure its a different prediction than you would make if you thought the Surge wasn’t working.