Amir Taheri, writing in the NY Post, notes that the US has moved into the offensive in Iraq all across the military board, but the Iraqi government itself still limps along.
This uneven development is the direct consequence of what Austin Bay has always pointed out. The US has not developed a way of applying all the sources of its national power to the War on Terror. While the military has an "expeditionary" capability, that is to say, the ability to sustain itself and grow in the face of hostile action, neither the aid agencies nor the State Department has any similar capacity. Hence, whether or not it should be so, the principal policy tool has been the US Armed Forces. Not surprisingly, they have gone about doing what they do best. Attacking the enemy and building up a counterpart army. On the other hand, the State Department has from the beginning struggled to equal this feat despite the efforts of dedicated individuals. This stagnation is directly reflected in the repetitive and often monomanaical solutions offered to solve the problems facing the region: the "peace process", "engagement" with Syria and Iran; various "contact groups". Each solution upon failure is simply repackaged and renamed, then offered up as something new. But it's the same old, same old, and something further is required. In the end, despite the military's best efforts, arms alone cannot win the War on Terror. The other sources of national power have to join fight. Until they do Iraq and other places will suffer from uneven development. Long on military muscles and short in other departments.