if we know that there were too few troops then why has it become the received wisdom that the troop 'surge' that Bush is currently implementing is doomed to failiure and we should be cutting the number of coalition personel? It seems to me that the surge is the correct policy and that only by wresting control of Baghdad from sectarian militias will Iraq be stabilised.My opinion was vindicated to some degree, as both the Petreaus report and other sources such as the BBC's 'Monitoring the Surge' have demonstrated. Obviously it is not a panacea and some militias will simply have taken a break for the duration, but those insisting on judging it a failure, such as the infamous "General Betray Us" ad by Move On (it's an interesting quirk of American politics that the Democrats constantly whine about having their patriotism questioned, yet actual examples of patriotism questioning are almost exclusively made by them, plus Ann Coulter) are not doing so based on the evidence.
Colossal mistakes were made in the Iraq war, particularly the failure to impose order as soon as Allied troops took control and the dissolution of the Iraqi army, both of which appear to have been based on a horribly naive misreading of human nature, although Petraeus was cannier than most British and American Generals back in 2003/2004. Yet that does not justify the idea that everything that the US government does from here on is automatically mistaken, in fact since Robert Gates became defense secretary their policies have become far more rational in terms of identifying the problems of Iraq and attempting to deal with them systematically.