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Sorry for the delay, but I did want to acknowledge your cnoegt comments. Surely the cease-fire is relevant, but I think this is the prime point:Michael, you’re right to see this as a hopeful sign that AQI can’t seem to find a foothold. It’s one problem out of the way, and we’re all quite happy to see it fading in importance. But you’re also right to be cautious AQI, and al Qaeda may be settled (in Iraq), but that is not the be-all-end-all of our work there. I like your characterization of one problem out of the way because, if successful, that is exactly how I see it. The space has been created, and now it's up to the Iraqis to follow through.I know you view the recent Badr bridages/Shia militia violence as disruptive (and it is), but I can't help but notice that it is the primarily Shia government forces that are battling them and laying down the law. The peace is definitely fragile, but there are hopeful signs. Shia Iraqi army clamping down on Sadr's Shia forces are one such sign. Let's just hope that it's a sign of better things to come.

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