The end of this year has seemed filled with bad news. So here’s something that went right in 2008: American troop deaths in Iraq were down 66% from 2007. That’s a drop from 906 to 309.

The direct cause for the decrease in fatalities is obvious. Attacks in Iraq have dropped from an average of 180 a day to just 10 a day.

But why have attacks dropped?

The surge has helped, but there are other factors at play:

“It’s no single effort. It’s a combination of efforts,” said Maj. Gen. Jeffery Hammond, commanding general of Multi-National Division-Baghdad. “The people of Iraq are tired of violence, and they are assisting the security forces; the government is improving its ability to govern and to apply the rule of law.”

We can only hope things continue to improve in 2009.

Home Politics A Better Year in Iraq