Well. the good news about Iraq is that it’s not as if while we weren’t paying attention we allowed the Taliban to establish a mini-state in northern Pakistan or anything. Oops!
The sad factor of the matter is that if we haven’t already passed the tipping point in the Afghanistan/Pakistan area, we will have very soon. In practice, by the time Bush is out of office and our troops our out of Iraq, I’m pretty sure it’s going to be too late and we’re going to need to reconcile ourselves to the fact that Taliban successor groups will have substantially re-entrenched themselves and there won’t be very much we can do about it except just kind of hope they don’t once again start playing host to terrorists plotting to attack America.