Yesterday, Thomas Fingar, the top intelligence analyst in the Office of the National Intelligence Director, stated that “the most optimistic” assessment of the increase in troop numbers in Iraq is that it has not had a “significant” effect in reducing the violence:
The surge that began a few months ago is having an effect, it has not yet had a sufficient effect on the violence, in my judgment, to move the country to a place that the serious obstacles to reconciliation can be overcome.
The most optimistic projection is that it will be difficult and time-consuming to bridge the political gulf when violence levels are reduced, and they have not yet been reduced significantly.
This morning on Fox and Friends, Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol ignored the intelligence assessment, instead offering his unfounded view that the “military situation is better than anyone expected”:
The truth is if you look concretely on the ground in Iraq, the military situation is better than anyone expected. Better than David Petraeus expected. Better than those of us here at home who supported the surge expected six months ago. … And we’re going to win the war. I think we’re going to win this war if we just don’t lose our nerve here at home.
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Kristol concluded that if Bush can hold off Congress, “I think Gen. David Petraeus could go down in American history with an amazing performance. … This could be a Ulysses S. Grant situation where Bush finally found the right general.”