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A nation must think before it acts.
In analyzing the “Surge” in Iraq during 2007 and 2008, the article contends that the campaign contributed greatly to Iraq’s stabilizing, and did so because the “surge of ideas” facilitated crucial variables: population separation, both by U.S. forces and from ethnic cleansing; local Sunni insurgents’ reconciliation; a new, “networked” Special Operations Forces campaign, and a politically self-reinforcing impression that the United States had recommitted to Iraq. Ultimately, however, the essay concludes, the Surge needed to be more ambitious to be endurable.