Patience

Armed Liberal is annoyed by the expectations on the part of the press and others that things should be fixed in Iraq by now. After a longish essay on the postwar reconstruction of Germany, he notes:

It took 4 years from the end of hostilities to start the turnaround of the German economy.

We started to implement a plan that would have turned Germany into Southern France, and turned 180 degrees and helped Germany reindistrialize.

That’s how things work in the real world. They progress in fits and starts, change and turn, and most of all, they take time.

The forces that oppose us are convinced that they are more patient than we are. They are convinced that if things in Iraq aren’t perfect – if the power isn’t on and unemployment ended and all the Iraqi women listening to NPR by September – well, it’ll be a quagmire then. And then what’ll we do?

Dean Atcheson and George Marshall were probably worried about quagmire as well. But they simply put their heads down and worked, and experimented, and tried things until – at the end of the day – they outlasted the problem.

True. And, of course, the current task is much more ambitious than simple restoring industrialization to a previously cutting-edge industrial society.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.