Midway through a week of mayhem in Iraq, Defense Secretary Robert Gates raised eyebrows when he said the recent resurgence of violence in Baghdad was "a last gasp" of Islamic extremists.
It was an echo of former Vice President Dick Cheney, who in 2005 said the insurgency was "in the last throes." The following two years were the deadliest period of the war.
One has to wonder if Gates is hoping more instability in Iraq will be the "justification" for not leaving Iraq any time soon.
And with all the hardened military installations we have built in Iraq, the military has not built them with the purpose of abandoning them.