Thursday, August 13, 2009


His troops were valiant and he'd had a brilliant plan for taking the capital, but now we can look back to January 20, 2009, and realize that Barack Obama was naive to think major combat operations had ended. He never saw the insurgency coming. He and his people seemed to think that there simply wouldn't be that kind of factional strife after the old regime fell; they believed that, despite years of tension between the factions, it would end in an instant and the citizens of the country would immediately see themselves as united.

As the insurgency grew and began to make the country ungovernable, the Obama team and its allies downplayed it as a ragtag collection of end-timers who'd soon be irrelevant. His troops knew how to wage a traditional campaign, but hadn't given serious thought to the problem of dealing with a chaotic aftermath. When it came to the "postwar" period, Obama never really had a plan.

His forces simply have no training in this kind of warfare. Now they have to learn on the fly, and their learning curve seems to be slow. They appear to believe that the forces they're now fighting are thinking traditionally -- they can't seem to accept the fact that the enemy genuinely wants anarchy and a failed state.

How Obama deals with this insurgency will be the main test of his presidency.

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