While Tom Ricks is away from his blog, he has selected a few of his favorite posts to re-run. We will be posting a few every day until he returns. This originally ran on March 26, 2010.
Earlier this week I ran into a friend who offered a correction on my comment that Iran has been the big winner in the Iraq war, gaining much influence inside its western neighbor and indeed across the region.
Yes, he said, Iran has certainly done well, and is more powerful than it was in 2003. But, he continued, the biggest strategic winner in the war so far is China. That's not only because the U.S. government financed the war with borrowings from China, but also because while we were distracted, Beijing has been a busy bee diplomatically, especially in East Asia.
I think my friend is probably right. Thanks a lot, W. (Sarcasm.)
Meanwhile, for all of youse who think this Google thing is just a PR move by that company, chew on this interesting roundup. On the other hand, I hear those who say we are crazy to let software engineers lead the way politically.
Thomas E. Ricks covered the U.S. military for the Washington Post from 2000 through 2008.