Watching another round of talking heads on Hardball with Chris Matthews, I see there is yet another discussion about “victory” in Iraq. Of course, as I pointed out in an earlier post, there are many candidates for a victory condition.
At the risk of repeating myself, let me state here, for the three or four people who might care and the gazillions who don’t, what I think the actual looked-for win condition is, as follows.
We will have won in Iraq when a reasonably stable Iraqi government, which can by some measure or other lay claim to having been democratically elected [hint: the last undisputed ruler of that country, Saddam Hussein, had arguments for such a claim; it’s not a high bar to attain], invites the government of the United States to take advantage of a 99-year lease on one or more large tracts of land upon which to maintain a military presence.
Translation: We’ll be able to withdraw all of our troops the day after it is assured by international treaty that we will never withdraw all our troops.
Brilliant, isn’t it?
That’s my analysis of past and current strategy, and as always I fervently hope I’m wrong. But I wouldn’t bet against me.