The year-old troop surge in Iraq has Washington Post op-ed columnists at odds, with Charles Krauthammer saying it’s unreasonable to call it a failure and Michael Kinsley arguing it can’t be deemed a success. The former points to changed hearts and minds, anecdotes of emotional reconciliation, legislation that furthers a federal state and the good spirits of former war critics.
Kinsley doesn’t dispute the positive aspects, but he contends that numbers quantify success. President Bush said a troop increase from 130,000 to 150,000 would last for only 6 to 8 months, followed by a reduction to 100,000 by his term’s end. But there are still 150,000 service members in Iraq, and no sign of change—a sure bellwether of failure, Kinsley writes.