victory condition update
The other day, I noted CalPundit's response to a David Frum column claiming that some war critics are laying out supposedly unreasonably stringent conditions for what constitutes "victory" in Iraq; Kevin Drum noted that the conditions pretty much consisted on the hawks' prewar predictions coming true.
Today's Washington Post has an article that may indicate the reason for the preemptive attack on letting anyone but the Administration define the victory conditions, even if they're simply echoes of the hawks' promises.
The Bush administration has devised a strategy to declare victory in Iraq even if Saddam Hussein or key lieutenants remain at large and fighting continues in parts of the country, officials said yesterday.
The concept of a "rolling" victory contemplates a time -- not yet determined -- when U.S. forces control significant territory and have eliminated a critical mass of Iraqi resistance. U.S. military commanders would establish a base of operations, perhaps outside Baghdad, and assert that a new era has begun. Even then, tens of thousands of U.S. soldiers would remain to help maintain order and provide humanitarian assistance.
Although President Bush spoke yesterday of accepting "nothing less than complete and final victory," administration officials do not envision a formal Iraqi capitulation in a scene akin to the German surrender to the Allies at Reims that ended World War II in Europe. Rather, they hope to recognize a moment when the military and political balance tilts decisively away from Hussein's Baath Party government.
(continued in the next post)