POSTWAR IRAQ….It looks like the war in Iraq is all but over. There could still be some surprises left, but basically we’ve won. This was accomplished a bit more quickly than I thought and with fewer casualties, which is good news. Even on the Iraqi side, I think we’re going to find that casualties were kept remarkably low.
As I mentioned a week ago, this makes me wish all the more that liberals and armchair generals had kept a lower profile about Donald Rumsfeld. It seems likely that Rumsfeld really did originally want a war plan with far fewer troops, which might have been disastrous, but, you know, woulda, coulda, shoulda. The fact is that in the end we apparently had enough to do the job, and that means that the carping of the past couple of weeks just makes Rumsfeld look even better than he would have. As I said last week, it’s another unfortunate tactical error by the good guys, who were just a bit too eager to cut Rumsfeld down to size.
The hard part starts now, of course, as we try to figure out what to do with postwar Iraq. Megan McArdle has a couple of good preliminary thoughts on the matter here and here, and Josh Marshall has a whole bunch of good posts up right now on this and related matters. Just start here and scroll down.
UPDATE: For what it’s worth, and in the same vein, I’d advise pro-war folks to go a little easy on early pronouncements that Iraqis are jubilant to see our tanks rolling through Baghdad. It’s early days, and things could still turn ugly down the road. Just a thought.