Saturday, September 13, 2008

McCain and the Surge,0,1586694.column

Woodward argues that the secret technology and the so-called Anbar Awakening -- in which counterinsurgency techniques developed by the Marines won over tribal leaders in that crucial Sunni-dominated province -- had as much or more to do with stabilizing Iraq as the "surge" in U.S. troop numbers.

Beyond the purely military considerations, there are potentially significant political implications. First and most obvious is the question of the surge's efficacy. The answer matters, particularly to John McCain, who has been one of the surge's most resolute supporters. If it turns out that it was only one -- and, perhaps, the least consequential -- in a confluence of successful American initiatives, then McCain could go from steadfast to stubborn in voters' minds.

Nonsense. McCain politically benefits from any argument over the root cause of the victory in Iraq. McCain was adamant that defeat in Iraq was unacceptable while Obama essentially argued defeat was inevitable and acceptable. There is no way that this can be spun to McCain's detriment.

More of my thoughts on this subject are in my Bush was right? post.