This is very good news, but what about the billions we continue to spend over there with no discernible gain? Remember, lowered troop deaths doesn’t mean political progress, it just means there’s more security and fewer families devastated stateside.

From Reuters:

U.S. troop deaths in Iraq fell to their lowest level last month since the 2003 invasion and officials said on Sunday improved security also helped the country boost oil production in May to a post-war high.

U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Iraq’s oil minister credited better security for the two milestones, which illustrated a dramatic turnabout in the fortunes of a country on the brink of all-out sectarian civil war just 12 months ago.

“We’ve still got a distance to go but I think lower casualty rates are a reflection of some real progress,” Gates told reporters in Singapore. “The key will be to continue to sustain the progress we have seen.”

Also of note, the civilian casualty rate has dropped:

The number of Iraqi civilians killed in May also fell, to 505, after reaching a seven-month high of 968 in April, figures compiled by the interior, defence and health ministries showed.

Again, all good news, but where is the upside for us? How is this making us safer? Because with al Qaeda now retreating, Iraq is no longer the breeding ground for terrorists the President has claimed. Shouldn’t we refocus on Afghanistan so that country doesn’t slip further down the hole?

Politics US Troop Deaths Lowest Since 2003