Rowan Scarborough has a good piece in the Examiner, which gives me a good bit of optimism that General David Patraeus and our soldiers are making slow but steady process in their current mission in Iraq. Here's a look:
U.S. intelligence officers in Iraq believe 2007 will be looked on someday as “the beginning of the defeat of al Qaeda,” an adviser to the command in Baghdad said Monday.I know the assessment of one retired general but at least he's offering a balanced and clear thinking approach to Iraq compared to the madness of the "get out now" crowd.
Retired Army Gen. John Keane offered the assessment after being briefed by a senior intelligence official who is an expert on the insurgency. The upbeat view marked a shift from 2006 intelligence reports that al Qaeda in Iraq was growing stronger.
Keane also said he expects a U.S. troop drawdown next spring, when forces should be able to turn over security in some Baghdad neighborhoods to Iraqis.
Keane, who has made two fact-finding trips to Iraq since a surge of U.S. troops began in February, said two new developments convinced intelligence officials that al Qaeda was on its way to defeat.First, Sunni sheiks are breaking alliances with al Qaeda and joining the coalition. “They are fed up with this barbarism and four years of war,” Keane said during a talk at the American Enterprise Institute.
Second, the U.S. counteroffensive of more than 155,000 troops is simultaneously attacking al Qaeda safe havens around the country — a tactic not used before.