The timeline stated at the bottom of this article is around the same as I've read predicted elsewhere.
"Why We Will Win the War on Terror
By Larry Schweikart
Source History News Network
"Mr. Schweikart is the author of America's Victories: Why the U.S. Wins Wars and Will Win the War on Terror.
If, in June 1942, you looked at where things stood militarily in the Pacific, you probably wouldn't have been overwhelmingly enthusiastic. The U.S. had just handed Japan a solid defeat at Midway, but at the cost of one more carrier, leaving us with just two in the Pacific, one in dock, and one in transit, compared to the Japanese carrier fleet that numbered between 13 and 15, depending on how one counted their "light" carriers. Beyond that, it still looked bleak. The Japanese held everything from Malaya to Attu and Kiska, plus large sections of China. We had yet to liberate anyone, and our fleet had been "attrited" (to use the words of Gen. Norman Schwartzkopf in the Gulf War). More important, the bloody battles of the Philippines, Iwo Jima, Tarawa, and Okinawa had yet to be fought.
And yet . . . a historian, looking back, would know that the war was essentially over after Midway. Oh, there was very hard, and very bloody fighting ahead, but after Midway, Japan could not win, only delay the inevitable. Ditto in Europe, where, after June 6, 1944, Germany could not win. The supposed value of history is that it allows one to apply a long-term lens perspective to current events. That, however, seems to be sadly missing in the case of the War on Terror, and, especially, Iraq. Let me say from the get-go that the Bush Administration erred badly in allowing the struggle in Iraq to be labeled a "war." It is a battle, part of the larger War on Terror. It is no more a "war" than Sicily or North Africa were "wars." But Bush fell into the Left's trap and allowed it to be called a "war," and as such it has been separated from the "War on Terror," and the "War in Afghanistan," itself a battle.
As historians (objective ones, that is) look back 30 years from now, and write the history of this war, they will find the battle of Iraq essentially was over after November 2004. I do not say that because Bush won reelection--that was critical, but so was the formation of the Iraqi government at that time--but because those two events then allowed a military victory at Fallujah, which was the tipping point of this battle (or, if you prefer, "war"). At Fallujah, more than 2000 terrorists were killed and the real al-Qaeda back of the so-called "insurgency" broken. Since then, Zarqawi was scrambling, as did the Japanese after Okinawa, to re-stock his ranks of suicide bombers. They were both unsuccessful. Last month, Zarqawi was killed, replicating the shooting down of Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto's plane in 1943. Even then, the war in the Pacific was not over--and the bloodiest battles had not been fought--but again, the outcome was further cemented.
Beyond Iraq, the U.S. will win the War on Terror because it's what Americans do: we win military conflicts. Leftists love to point to Vietnam. But again, is that a "war," or a battle within the Cold War, which we won? Either way, Vietnam illustrates one of the strengths our military possesses that our enemies almost never do: the ability to learn from loss. In many (not all) Muslim societies, especially those from Bedouin/Arab cultures, it is shameful to lose, and doubly shameful to admit one lost. How can such a foe possibly adapt to the inevitable battlefield screwups? Japanese admirals went down with their ships out of a code of "honor," while American commanders transferred their command--and their experience--to another ship.
Americans win wars because, despite the claims of Senator Richard Durbin, we have an unusual and almost distinct concern for the sanctity of life--ours, and our enemy's. We take better care of prisoners than most combatants, and unlike any I've ever encountered, we make more efforts to rescue our own (including three planned rescue missions for POWs in wartime over the course of three different wars). We win wars because, despite the claims of the left, our soldiers come from every sector, every lifestyle, and every part of American society (zip code studies have proven this). Our troops are simply the best trained, ever, which virtually all military analysts agree is the most important ingredient in successful military operations.
There is a myth of the War on Terror that we "can't beat an ideology," and "terrorism is an ideology, not a state." It seems to me we defeated three much more powerful ideologies in the 20th century alone--fascism, bushido-ism, and communism. Another myth says we've "never fought a war like this." Quite the contrary, in the Filipino Insurrection and subsequent Moro Wars, we not only fought a guerilla/terrorist enemy very much like al-Qaeda (the Moros were even Muslims who practiced beheading their enemies), but the leader, Emilio Aguinaldo (like Zarqawi) stated that his goal was not to defeat the U.S. militarily but to affect the outcome of the 1900 election. Both of our enemies failed, and al-Qaeda will continue to fail. Just as in the skies over Europe, where our bombers, by becoming a giant sky-borne "roach motel" absorbed some 30% of the total Nazi war effort, we have set up a "roach motel" in Iraq, and are killing terrorists by the bushel. It is worth noting that the media has gone out of its way to avoid reporting enemy numbers killed, but my own sources--and a little basic addition--shows that they have lost upwards of 20,000 already. No military force in history has survived these losses. The Japanese kamikazes ran out, and the suicide bombers will too . . . soon. Look for the battle of Iraq to be over by late 2007, and, if the timetable holds, al-Qaeda to be substantially defeated within the next five to eight years."