New ABC News polling shows an enormous surge in optimism and security in Iraq, underscoring not just how dramatic has been the turnaround brought about by the surge, but also the much more broad lesson that extremely adverse circumstances can be quickly remedied and momentum in the opposite direction established and maintained with good leadership and sound strategy.
This broader lesson is applicable, of course, in Afghanistan and Pakistan, anda new Weekly Standard piece by Max Boot and Frederick Kagan and Kimberly Kagan makes it clear that what has happened in Iraq can also happen in Afghanistan.
It seems likely as well that a rapid turnaround in the economic circumstances of the U.S. and its allies is also possible, provided that the Obama Administration actually pursues growth policies as opposed to redistributionist policies. The acceleration of information flows across markets makes rapid changes in direction –both good and bas– possible and information-hungary investors and entrepreneurs react quickly to every change in direction in government economic policy. If President Obama heads in the right direction, the economy watchers will applaud and react accordingly. If he continues down the deep deficit road, the return to vibrant growth will have to wait for a new Congress in 2010 and quite possibly a new president in 2012.