I don't remember if I wrote much about the surge in Iraq but I'm going to now for reasons that will become clear in a moment.
When we were talking about going to Iraq originally, one of the General's that were responsible for coming up with a plan said it would required 350,000 troops and several years before the country would become stable after the invasion. He was immediately canned by the administration.
We go in with a force about 1/3 of that and all hell breaks loose. So then we get the bright idea that maybe we need more troops. Wow! If only someone thought of that before! Anyway, so we send in more troops which becomes known as The Surge.
About the same time, a fellow by the name of al-Sadr decided to give us a gift. al-Sadr is the dude behind the major Shi'te militias and had been beating on the Sunni forces for sometime (the civil war) and taking shots at American troops. It was his forces that, in no small part, were cranking up the US causalities before the war.
So what is the gift he gave us? A cease-fire. A 7-month cease-fire that looks like it ended yesterday.
I maintain, and have for a while, that while putting extra troops on the ground certainly helped, it was the cease-fire that more or less corresponded with the 'success' of the surge that was ultimately responsible. If I'm right, and if the cease-fire has truly ended (which I believe it has), American causalities will start to rise again and the 'success' of the surge will unfortunately be shown for what it really was.
Here is an article about the end of the cease-fire.
Sooner or later the powers that be need to understand that we either aren't capable or, more likely, aren't willing to do what is necessary to stabilize the country and just need to pull out. The war in Afghanistan, which actually has ramifications on our security, is failing and needs to be readdressed.