Wow. It seems the news outlets have decided the administration underestimated the amount of time it would take to win. In a brief moment of bizarroland strangeness, I have to side with Rumsfeld here: only a complete idiot would have believed at any juncture that we would have won this war in a week. As it is, I am shocked by our seemingly easy victories. The numbers of US casualties, given the mission, are miniscule.
If anything, the administration has “misunderestimated” the will of Americans to fight a protracted war, and conduct an extended occupation. Only a sliver of Americans realize that we are not yet finished in Afghanistan. Very few have any feel for the loss of American, let alone Iraqi, life in the last Gulf War. (In street interviews, people say things like “lots… probably hundreds” of Iraqis died in Gulf War I.) I remain as confident as the military authorities that we will win this war, and with a minimum of American casualties, at least in comparison with similar engagements. If we start to see thousands of American deaths, then the administration will find support evaporating quickly. But the real costs to even a short and easy victory will be to American interests in the long run, especially with our relations to other countries in the “Axis.”