Take Harry Reid, who has declared two of the military's leading Generals, including the one running the new counter-insurgency oriented 'Surge', as "incompetent", and declared the Surge as failed before it has even really started.
Now some of the lefty intelligentsia are declaring Operation Phantom Thunder failed as well. Why? Because the enemy is running away. Granted, we would like to kill those dirtbags in place, but in essence to declare that "AQI fleeing battle is the mark of US failure" and the battle lost is to willfully ignorant of the wider war at hand.
AQ leadership normally does flee the battle. This is just what happened in 2004 in Fallujah. However, breaking their strongholds is important precisely because of what it does to their overall strategy, which is to set themselves up as 'the strong horse' versus America. Because they flee, and their strongholds are destroyed, they lose face -- the one thing they cannot afford to lose.Grim at Blackfive has been hitting this 50 meter target centermass for quite some time now. His latest is instructive on the myopia of the left, and also point to a couple of other great pieces of his from earlier days.
A Strategy for the Long War
COIN: The Gravity Well
This war is not a simple exercise in win/lose (or lose/lose) as the left would have us believe, even though that is all the American public is fed by the MSM. This is a complicated endeavor of strategy and death, where the enemy running away, while not the optimal outcome, can be a significant step forward.
It is too bad that the left can not recognize that. Or perhaps they just don't want to as that would ruin the meme that they have chosen to follow. If that is the case, it is plain to see that they might actually be willing us to lose this war.