Patience has paid off in South Korea. It could work in Iraq, too — if we let it.
President Bush declared in 2003, “Mission Accomplished” in Iraq. A bit prematurely, it turned out. President Obama declared Iraq “sovereign, stable and self-reliant” in 2011 as he pulled American troops out of Iraq without a status of forces agreement. A bit prematurely, it turned out.
It’s an ugly world out there — too ugly to fit into nice, preconceived, American notions about how long nasty people can undermine American interests, about how long wars should take. The US has had thousands of troops in South Korea for some 70 years. They’ve done an admirable job of defending American interests (though unable, alas, to stop North Korean genocide).