In a sneak peak at next month's progress report on the troop surge, David Petraeus says sectarian violence and coalition troop deaths from roadside bombs are down while seizure of insurgents' weapons is up. "We say we have achieved progress," the commander of US forces in Iraq told the Australian in an interview published today.
"We believe al-Qaeda is off balance at the very least," said Petraeus, who brought the Australian defense minister up to speed this week in Baghdad. He said the increased troop strength since the surge began in February allows the US to go on offense rather than concentrating on defending against insurgent assaults. (Read more troop surge stories.)