William Arkin drinks the kool-aid
In his piece today, Arkin trumpets the success of intelligence operations in Iraq in the killing of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi as evidence of progress in stabilizing Iraq. Indeed, intelligence operations were at work in the operations and the job was completed.
What I think Arkin is missing is the information source and motivation. Given the recent history of strife between Zarqawi and the Sunni insurgents, it seems to me that he was likely "given up" by those who wanted him gone. In other words, as in the Chalabi situation, the United States military was once again used to settle scores in the civil war.
I submit that if I'm correct, the Zarqawi operation is proof of further deterioration
in the situation, not improvement. No, I'm not just being the eternal pessimist and Bush hater. Rather I'm noting that an occupying force can never been a winner
in an insurgency/civil war. The best we can hope for is that our interests coincide at some time with the interests of someone. But we also know that those narrow parallel interests will be fleeting when the goal is reached. Thus the Sunni's are still not our friends, although they likely used us to get rid of a thorn in their butts.