Buckley identifies a two-phase Iraq campaign, the military enterprise (a complete and total success), then a two-part occupation phase, one focusing on allowing Iraqis to begin the process of speaking for themselves through elections and sovereign governing bodies. This part, if not as complete a success as the military phase, was (is) a success nonetheless.
The second part, obviously, is providing an environment of security and civil order, and this has been, undoubtedly, a failure to date. I recommend the whole piece to you, and leave you with a taste:
A respect for the power of the United States is engendered by our success in engagements in which we take part. A point is reached when tenacity conveys not steadfastness of purpose but misapplication of pride. It can't reasonably be disputed that if in the year ahead the situation in Iraq continues about as it has done in the past year, we will have suffered more than another 500 soldiers killed. Where there had been skepticism about our venture, there will then be contempt.