So says USA Today…

The number of truck bombs and other large al-Qaeda-style attacks in Iraq have declined nearly 50% since the United States started increasing troop levels in Iraq about six months ago, according to the U.S. military command in Iraq.

The high-profile attacks — generally large bombs hitting markets, mosques or other “soft” targets that produce mass casualties — have dropped to about 70 in July from a high during the past year of about 130 in March, according to the Multi-National Force — Iraq.

Military officers say the decline reflects progress in damaging al-Qaeda’s networks in Iraq. The military has launched offensives around Baghdad aimed at al-Qaeda sanctuaries and bases.

Good news. Let’s hope this type of violence continues to subside.

In other news…the real determiner of success or failure in Iraq is still very much in jeopardy.

Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki called for the crisis meeting during a news conference Sunday and said he hoped it could take place in the next two days as he faces growing impatience with his government’s perceived Shiite bias and failure to achieve reconciliation or to stop the sectarian violence threatening to tear the country apart.

It was a limited invite, including President Jalal Talabani, a Kurd, Vice President Tariq al-Hashemi, a moderate Sunni, Vice President Adel Abdul-Mahdi, a Shiite, and Massoud Barzani, the leader of the autonomous Kurdish region in northern Iraq. […]

A government official, speaking on condition of anonymity because he wasn’t authorized to release the information, said the five officials would meet Tuesday to try to come up with a blueprint on how to pull the government out of its crisis and reach agreement on divisive issues such as sharing Iraq’s oil riches and de-Baathification.

My opinion about Iraq will change when I see these guys form a plan for moving forward and being to execute on it. Because if they can’t get it together and form some type of cohesive government, all our work may be for naught.

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