Peter Feaver, the too-clever-by-half former White House politics of Iraq honcho, has an enlightening piece in Commentary where he explains that the purpose of the surge was to create political space in the United States to ensure that George W. Bush could pass off a large U.S. troop deployment in Iraq to the next administration.
As Justin Logan says, this has a nice heads I win, tales you lose quality to it:
If, by the grace of God, some subsequent U.S. president can manage to extricate us from the Iraqi quagmire without a total meltdown, the Bushies will clap each other on the back, declaring themselves visionaries. If, on the other hand, Iraq flames out entirely on the watch of a subsequent administration, the Bushies can play the Dolschtoss card and explain how The Surge Was Working and would have continued working were it not for the fecklessness of the Obama/Clinton/McCain administration.
The idea that there are, as we speak, brave young men and women risking their lives for the sake of the vanity of the fools who launched this war is more than a little maddening. But that’s how it is.