As the transition of authority nears, our military leaders in Iraq shift to a mission with a different emphasis.
The author of this article points out that "some" don't understand this in view of the continuing engagements with insurgents.
My personal opinion is that this is not a linear process requiring the elimination of all insurgents before we move to the next step. Indeed, to set such a threshold is tantamount to letting the insurgents dictate progress' timetable.
The symbolic victory comes when Iraqis are in charge. And once they are, the success of that Iraqi government becomes the most visible guage of success or failure of the intervention in politics-as-usual in the middle east.
Senior U.S. commanders here say they are writing new orders to shift the focus of the military's mission from offensive combat operations to protecting a new Iraqi government and parts of the economy while building up Iraq's own security forces...
The number of insurgents and terrorists operating in Iraq "will never go to zero," said Lt. Gen. Thomas F. Metz, who on May 15 assumed command of a new multinational corps headquarters that controls the day-to-day military operations in Iraq.
"But what we've got to do is build this base of support," he said, "of people who want to be free, who want to live under a rule of law and want to be prosperous."