I know that it's conventional wisdom to dump on the flypaper theory in Iraq (i.e., we would attract the terrorists to Iraq and fight them there instead of elsewhere). But even so, it seems like things played out that way somewhat anyway, particularly with regard to al Queda.
Here is a link to Michael Totten's latest update from Iraq:
[i] "What's the most important thing Americans need to know about Iraq that they don't currently know?" I said.
"That we're fighting Al Qaeda," he said without hesitation. "[Abu Musab al] Zarqawi invented Al Qaeda in Iraq. The top leadership outside Iraq squawked and thought it was a bad idea. Then he blew up the Samarra mosque, triggered a civil war, and got the whole world's attention.
Then the Al Qaeda leadership outside dumped huge amounts of money and people and arms into Anbar Province. They poured everything they had into this place. The battle against Americans in Anbar became their most important fight in the world. And they lost."[/i]
Read the whole thing.