Success is hard to measure. It's especially hard to measure when the standard moves. So Iraq. This, unfortunately, is how success is now described:
Gen. David Petraeus testified Thursday before the Senate Armed Services Committee. He noted that the number of security incidents in Iraq in the past week had fallen to the lowest level in over four years. And he held out the prospect, despite “tough fights and hard work” that lie ahead, of “an Iraq that is at peace with itself and its neighbors, that is an ally in the war on terror, that has a government that serves all Iraqis.”
They said there would be flowers. Now we'll have to make due with the "prospect" of an Iraq something like the one we found when we got there.
Of course, lest we forget, Iraq is not only an ally in the war on terror, it's also a client–I mean, it's also the central front.