It’s Not Working:

Robert Gates told Senators at his confirmation hearing Tuesday unequivocally that the US is not winning in Iraq and that “there clearly were insufficient troops in Iraq after the initial invasion to establish control over the country.” He pledged to be “open to a wide range of ideas and proposals” and to “give most serious consideration to the views” of the nation’s uniformed leaders. He believes that “developments in Iraq over the next year or two” will “greatly shape the entire Middle East” and the wrong course could lead to a “regional conflagration.” He also believes that the Iraqis must reach a political consensus. Gates said he would remain independent and offer unvarnished advice to the President, but he reminded the Senators that, in the end, it is the President who “will make the final decision” on any change in strategy.