I once wrote:
Faced with a disastrous war, the most important consideration is not "Were we wrong?" but "Why were we wrong?" and "How can we avoid being so wrong in the future?"
It also works the other way. Not every war is a disaster, and so when you predict disaster and a non-disaster emerges, you need to ask yourself the same questions. So my piece for Danger Room on the eve of the successful conclusion of the Libya war:
And so, in the spirit of intellectual honesty, I need to concede that I got the Libya war wrong. Several Danger Room pieces under my byline ran this year predicting that Libya was an open-ended mission, lacked a clear plan for victory, and could lead to NATO peacekeepers battling post-Gadhafi insurgents. While reasonable people can disagree about whether the war was in the U.S. interest (or even legal), or whether President Obama portrayed it honestly, the fact is that the war successfully ended after eight months, contrary to consistent predictions on display here.
We owe it to you to acknowledge forthrightly that we were wrong, and probably too blinded with fears of Iraq 2.0. It’s not just the Pentagon that has trouble with predictions.
I still don't feel the Libya war was in the U.S. interest. But then all the more reason why I think conceding how well it turned out -- not that history ever stops -- is imperative. As long as the U.S. doesn't get sucked into post-Gadhafi Libya, which it seems we won't, then you can chalk up the Libya war as a success, and (reluctant) opponents like myself ought to acknowledge it.