In an interview up at the National Review, Rudy Giuliani foreign policy advisor Norman Podhoretz says that "by any reasonable historical standard," George W. Bush's war on terrorism has been "a triumph, not a disaster."
Podhoretz weighs the war on terrorism -- he calls it World War IV -- against both World War II and the U.S. Civil War. He says the mistakes made in Iraq -- "assuming they were all mistakes, as alleged, rather than judgment calls that might have gone worse the other way" -- are "chump change" compared with the mistakes made in World War II. As for the Civil War, Podhoretz says: "It took Lincoln three years to find Sherman and Grant. It took George Bush three years to find Petraeus."
"If you look at what has happened in three or four years in Afghanistan or Iraq, " he says, "it's not perfect, it's not over, but enormous strides have been made, again, certainly by comparison with the time it took to win victories in prior wars."
The Civil War lasted almost exactly four years. The United States was in and out of World War II in a little less than that. In two months, we'll mark the fifth anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Iraq, and the Pentagon is planning to send additional U.S. troops to Afghanistan more than six years after the war began there.