"If This Be Success"
Robert Farley has much more on the Pollack/O’Hanlon op-ed, including some discussion of dodgy numbers. Meanwhile, though not intended as a direct riposte to the op-ed, this chart assembled by Nick Beaudrot and the associated discussion is worth checking out:
Meanwhile, it’s worth noting the incentives that O’Hanlon and Pollack face. If they bow to reality and say the US should move rapidly to start cutting our losses in Iraq, then they’re people who advocated in favor of a disastrous policy and this’ll be bad for their careers. If, by contrast, they say the surge is looking good, and then work together with Bush administration officials and The Weekly Standard to construct a stab in the back narrative about Iraq, then they can hope to salvage their professional reputations at the expense of liberals.
(of course, haha, that’s to imply that the policy analysis put forward by Brookings Institution foreign policy program people might be influenced by crass careerism rather than Very Serious Expertise but that’s absurd, right, after all Very Serious People are above such things)