Even with the recent fighting in Iraq, the war appears to be going well. The Iraqi army is growing in a well-planned manner. The Iraqi army is also taking on much more of the burden of the fighting, and is even initiating the areas being contested. Conventional forces such as the U.S. military and the Iraqi army have the advantage in Iraq because the battlefield is surrounded by desert and can be isolated. The largest problem is that of scale.
Many of the issues being fought over in Iraq are present throughout the Middle East. Many of the issues are present within Islam. These issues reach far beyond the Middle East into Africa and Asia. Even if the U.S. is successful in building an Iraq and Afghanistan that are fully capable of defending themselves alone, the issues that are being fought over will still be present in many other parts of the world. I am not saying that we should go and attack the rest of the Middle East and/or the Islamic world. These issues are important enough to risk your life for/against. With so many other areas of the world having these issues, more wars will occur. It is important to maintain the pressure in our efforts to help the side that agrees with us on these vital issues. Once again, I would like to point out that time is NOT on our side.
With the recent discovery of Syrian intentions, it should be even more obvious that sooner or later, a terrorist organization will successfully deploy an effective weapon of mass destruction. (Probably a nuke, but who knows?) Once this event occurs, it will be difficult not to justify much larger, possibly even massive amounts of conventional warfare.