Petraeus’s former XO Peter Mansoor, who has a book coming about his time in Iraq, argues in a Washington Post op-ed that without the surge, none of the good things that have happened in Iraq during the past year would have happened. What Mansoor is saying, in essence, is that even though the Sahwat had been forming in Anbar already in 2006, and even though al-Sadr’s ceasefire was a result of intra-Shia warfare, it was the surge that made everything come true. This is indeed a version of history John McCain will love.
I’m too puny an intellect to argue with a man of Mansoor’s stature, but there’s one observation I’d like to make:
Nowhere in his op-ed does Mansoor mention one of the central reasons for the surge, the need to give the Iraqi government breathing space to bolster its influence and work on national reconciliation. In this regard, Mansoor’s memory appears to be selective, as the Maliki administration has failed on all counts. So, to repeat the article’s title, how exactly has the surge worked?