This week marked the ten year anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Iraq that toppled Saddam Hussein's brutal regime. Gideon Rose wrote an article for Foreign Affairs arguing that OIF is, "..the most egregious American foreign policy failure since Vietnam." People opposed to the invasion invoked Vietnam even before the first coalition troops crossed into Iraq, and the WMD were not found. The comparisons became almost a cliche as the days of the invasion gave way to the years of reconstruction, IED attacks and street fighting.
Mr. Rose could not be more wrong about Iraq because even though it was frustrating, brutal and expensive in both treasure and precious blood it succeeded in wrecking Saddam's regime and in helping an elected, sovereign government be born. Mr. Gideon should review his history if he believes this shares any similarities with the decision to leave South Vietnam to be conquered by the Communist North.
In 2007 President Bush ignore the cries to pullout of Iraq as we did in Vietnam and instead ordered the surge of forces and counter insurgency strategy led by General Petraeus. This final push, along with the improving Iraqi forces and the Sunni Awakening were enough to break al-Qaeda and the other enemy forces. Ironically, Mr. Rose would have had his Vietnam in Iraq if President Bush had listened to the experts who counseled precipitous withdrawal and defeat. It is time the naysayers accepted yes for an answer: yes, mission accomplished. The Obama administration and future administrations have the responsibility to see that it stays that way.