This report, via LGF, seems to be good news:
Washington’s policies of promoting democracy in Iraq and elsewhere look “increasingly effective”, and even the threat from terrorism abated slightly during 2004, the International Institute for Strategic Studies said in an annual report.
The London-based think-tank noted however that the situation in Iraq was also creating a recruitment effect for terrorist groups, an aspect which remained “the proverbial elephant in the living room” of US foreign policy.
The report said that the improvement in the overall strategic climate was helped by factors such as the death of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, but it added that US President George W. Bush’s foreign policies also seemed to be bearing fruit.
The IISS site is here for those of you interested in the full report.
My main worry is that the current progress can’t coast on its own power. I think there’s a reasonable chance that without constant US military oversight and massive funding, Iraq will revert to something not meaningfully better than what it was before. And if the lesson is that we can keep a society changed with constant military oversight and funding, where are we? We certainly couldn’t do it in 3 or 9 or 15 countries at a time.
Yeah, but if it keeps getting Republicans elected, who cares? This isn’t about Iraq, it’s about domestic politics.