This rather hopeful. Gen. David H. Petraeus, the new U.S. commander in Iraq, is assembling a small band of warrior-intellectuals ("rank is nothing: talent is everything") in an eleventh-hour effort to reverse the downward trend in the Iraq war. We all think we know that Petraeus is a smart guy (no PhD needed for that, of course) and this WaPo article makes something more public than ever: "Essentially, the Army is turning the war over to its dissidents, who have criticized the way the service has operated there the past three years, and is letting them try to wage the war their way." The key guy may well be the Australian Lt. Col David Kilcullen who likes to talk about the war as counterinsurgency rather than counterterrorism; and also likes to talk about maintaining the initiative. This paper by him may help. There is plenty on Kilcullen, et al, including this by George Packer and this from the Australian. Like I said, Iâ€™m hopeful. It may be time to smoke a Henry Clay because, as Kipling said, a Clay has a "calming effect."