But now onto the subject of evaluating whether or not the surge has been working to achieve its political goals, please tell me what you believe those goals to be in comments.
For me, I am using the following statement as my evaluation criteria as they came from the noted defeatocrat, and leftard President George W. Bush.
A successful strategy for Iraq goes beyond military operations. Ordinary Iraqi citizens must see that military operations are accompanied by visible improvements in their neighborhoods and communities. So America will hold the Iraqi government to the benchmarks it has announced.
To establish its authority, the Iraqi government plans to take responsibility for security in all of Iraq's provinces by November. To give every Iraqi citizen a stake in the country's economy, Iraq will pass legislation to share oil revenues among all Iraqis. To show that it is committed to delivering a better life, the Iraqi government will spend $10 billion of its own money on reconstruction and infrastructure projects that will create new jobs. To empower local leaders, Iraqis plan to hold provincial elections later this year. And to allow more Iraqis to re-enter their nation's political life, the government will reform de-Baathification laws, and establish a fair process for considering amendments to Iraq's constitution.
Implicit within these statements is the goal of national reconciliation and improving the legitimacy, authority and capacity of a central Iraqi government. The Iraqi constitution to which amendments were to be considered has Iraq as a post-Westphalian nation state in that the state controls the monopoly on legitimate violence. There is not a goal of ethnic/sectarian fragmentation, segregation and walling off of neighborhoods and communities to bring the economic life and complexity down several steps. This is a national plan with national intended outcomes. And that is what I am evaluating reality against.
And from these criteria, little has occurred. Iraqi control of the provinces will be at least nine months to a year behind schedule, de-Ba'athification as it passed Parliament is supported by the Kurds and Sadrists and opposed by the Sunni Arabs as a virtual death sentence, the oil law is still being 'considered,' the $10 billion in infrastructure was not spent, and whatever local leadership was empowered was empowered by the Awakening model which means it has absolutely no loyalty to the central government.
Yes, the reduction in violence is a good thing on purely humanitarian levels. However the reduction in violence has not allowed the United States to accomplish its stated political/strategic goals as defined by President Bush.