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A nation must think before it acts.
As year five begins, the prospects for a successful conclusion of the Iraq war – one that would repair the deep seated and deadly animosities throughout civil society, establish a foundation for a sustainable democratic government, and stop the inexorable climb of U.S. fatalities above 3,000 and of total casualties toward 30,000 and beyond – are remote. The U.S. is embroiled in a conflict in three dimensions, military political and civil, that defies solution. Our military and its leaders have tended to underestimate the enemy and engage it half-heartedly, while the insurgents have retained freedom of action and repeatedly seized the initiative. The fourth dimension, the battle for Iraqi hearts and minds, essential for bringing hostilities to an end, has not even begun.