Friday, June 15, 2007

"It's still too early" or is it?

Here's a link to a June 13th DoD news article announcing the quarterly report to Congress on Iraq DefenseLink News Article: Quarterly Iraq Report Cites Progress, Challenges

It leads off with [emphasis added]:
It’s still too early to assess the impact of the new strategy in Iraq, but more progress is expected as additional troops come on line to boost security in Baghdad, according to the latest quarterly report to Congress, released today.
The executive summary of the quarterly report itself includes:
It is too soon to assess results.
Overall, it is too early to assess the impact of the new approach.
Although it is premature to judge whether FAQ is creating the conditions necessary for political reconciliation, ...
Just to make sure we didn't miss the point, the next day, June 14th, a new article headlined Too Early to Discern Trends in Iraq appeared and opened with paragraph 1
It is too early to discern trends out of the U.S. troop “surge” as part of the Baghdad security plan, defense officials said here today.
and continued in paragraph 3 saying
“It is too early to assess the impact of the new way forward,” a senior defense official said.
This is of a piece with the widespread and repeated propagation of the we have to wait till September meme that seems intended to deaden our ability to judge the facts so far for ourselves.

All that's needed to assess, to judge, to discern the impact of what has happened up until the present moment is to look at the freshest possible data on all the important factors. If we each available ourselves of the weekly sources of such data such as the Brookings Report, the State Dept. Report and the Baghdad Embassy report, the we can then have a fruitful discussion about what each of us thinks the data means and what we feel might be the best course forward.

On the other hand, if we listen to the siren call of the "too early to tell" and "wait till September" crowd, we will forfeit any chance we have of adjusting our behavior to increase our chances of success as we move forward.

No comments: