These are discouraging days for those of us who believe that the Iraq war was meet and right and must be won.

David Brooks had an encouraging piece the other day in the New York Times. Describing the present as a “shakeout” time, Brooks predicted that the U.S. will make changes and get it right.

In today’s New York Post, Ralph Peters, who has recently been in Iraq, reports that our troubles don’t stem from military failure: “The Marines in Fallujah weren’t beaten by the terrorists and insurgents, who were being eliminated effectively and accurately,” he writes.

“They were beaten by al-Jazeera. By lies. Get used to it.”

Falluja was a disaster. “We could have won militarily,” writes Peters. “Instead, we surrendered politically and called it a success. Our enemies won the information war. We literally didn’t know what hit us.
“The implication for tactical combat — war at the bayonet level — is clear: We must direct our doctrine, training, equipment, organization and plans toward winning low-level fights much faster. Before the global media can do what enemy forces cannot do and stop us short. We can still win the big campaigns. But we’re apt to lose thereafter, in the dirty end-game fights. We have to speed the kill.”

Peters proposes that the US military must learn to fight its battles within a “media cycle” so that our enemies (and I would say those in our own media who so vehemently oppose the war) can portray us as the bad guys. Peters notes that the War on Terror will go on for decades and that, “If we do not learn to kill very, very swiftly, we will continue to lose slowly.”