Breathing Room(1)

U.S. policy in Iraq—and elsewhere around the world—ought to be based on reality. Iraq is already a partitioned country. Recognizing that allows us to craft a strategy to salvage success.

Issue: Sept-Oct 2006

IN JULY, I made my seventh trip to Iraq. From military bases in Basra, Fallujah and Anbar province to Baghdad's Green Zone, I spent time with our diplomats and our generals, with Iraqi political leaders and with our troops. Even forty-eight hours on the ground, in a protective bubble, makes more vivid all that we have achieved--and all that we still must overcome.

In Iraq, we confront two parallel realities. Our military and civilians are doing extraordinary work, under the most difficult conditions--and they are getting results. For example, the Iraqi army is much more capable than it was just a year ago, thanks to an increasingly effective U.S.-led training effort.

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