IRAQ UPDATE: Ed Morrissey posts a letter from a Marine Corps Major in Iraq. It’s a must-read.

Stephen Green also has a lengthy post that’s worth reading. And M. Simon observes: “Wars are never competently managed. Projects can be managed. People can be managed. . . . Wars cannot be managed because there is active and relatively unpredictable opposition. Even if you know what the opposition can do the actual mix of possible actions is always in doubt. So what can we do about wars? Win them or lose them.”

Victor Davis Hanson has further thoughts that are very much worth reading.

As Andrew Sullivan wrote a while ago (in response to this post of mine), “the notion that this was all going to be perfect and easy is as foolish as the notion that it is doomed.”

Constructive criticism is good. Doomsaying and MoveOn-style surrendermongering isn’t.

UPDATE: This long post from Varifrank is worth reading, too, as is this one on pre-war exit plans.

And Rand Simberg has thoughts on Iraq and the evolution of democracy.

ANOTHER UPDATE: The Belmont Club has more in its ongoing analysis of the Iraqi military situation. Conclusion:

If the pattern of American casualties shows that most fighting is happening in Al-Anbar it is not because Administration officials are manufacturing the results to camouflage a “widening insurgency”. It is because there is no power vacuum among Kurds and Shi’ias as complete as that in the Sunni triangle. Civil war, if it eventuates, will not be result of military failure but from a lack of commitment to create a replacement Iraqi State. If we build it, it will come.

Read the whole thing.