Three Years In Iraq

Critics of Operation Iraqi Freedom often allege that little or no progress has been made since the invasion. The Secretary of Defense, the Honorable Donald Rumsfeld, has written an excellent article about our progress and addresses critics’ allegations.


What We’ve Gained In Three Years In Iraq

By Donald H. Rumsfeld

Some have described the situation in Iraq as a tightening noose, noting that “time is not on our side” and that “morale is down.” Others have described a “very dangerous” turn of events and are “extremely concerned.”

Photo by Capt. Joe Vanty, 138th MPAD, US Army Reserve – Young children watch as U.S. Soldiers from Alaska’s 172nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team pass by.

Who are they that have expressed these concerns? In fact, these are the exact words of terrorists discussing Iraq — Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and his associates — who are describing their own situation and must be watching with fear the progress that Iraq has made over the past three years.

The terrorists seem to recognize that they are losing in Iraq. I believe that history will show that to be the case.

Fortunately, history is not made up of daily headlines, blogs on Web sites or the latest sensational attack. History is a bigger picture, and it takes some time and perspective to measure accurately.

Consider that in three years Iraq has gone from enduring a brutal dictatorship to electing a provisional government to ratifying a new constitution written by Iraqis to electing a permanent government last December. In each of these elections, the number of voters participating has increased significantly — from 8.5 million in the January 2005 election to nearly 12 million in the December election — in defiance of terrorists’ threats and attacks.

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