General David Petraeus is supposed to issue a report in September that will assess how well the “surge” is going. The Washington Post has obtained a leaked copy of that report:
I meet with Iraqi security force leaders every day. Though some have given in to acts of intimidation, many are displaying courage and resilience in the face of repeated threats and attacks on them, their families and their comrades. I have seen their determination and their desire to assume the full burden of security tasks for Iraq.
There will be more tough times, frustration and disappointment along the way. It is likely that insurgent attacks will escalate as Iraq’s elections approach. Iraq’s security forces are, however, developing steadily and they are in the fight. Momentum has gathered in recent months. With strong Iraqi leaders out front and with continued coalition — and now NATO — support, this trend will continue. It will not be easy, but few worthwhile things are.
OK, I lied. That’s actually Petraeus’ progress report from September 2004, when he was in charge of building up the Iraqi Security Forces. Things in Iraq are better than they appear, and they always will be.