Al Qaeda in Iraq is a diminished threat, and credit goes not only to the latest US military push but to unexpected and "robust" efforts by Syria to keep foreign militants out, Gen. David Petraeus said in an extended interview in the Wall Street Journal. The top commander in Iraq said the number of foreign fighters entering through Syria has been cut by at least a third.
Iran has promised to stop sending weapons to Iraq, and seems to have done so, but Petraeus is adopting a “wait-and-see attitude” on that front. Major attacks are down 55% since June, bringing violence down to January 2006 levels. Successes on the ground in Iraq pose a complex problem for the commander: future drawdown have to be designed to maintain security gains and prevent insurgents from returning.