BAGHDAD (AP) -- There are signs in Iraq that the United States is now winning the war that two years ago seemed lost.
Despite occasional bursts of violence, Iraq has reached the point where the insurgents no longer have the clout to threaten the viability of the central government. The top U.S. commander in Iraq, General David Petraeus, tells The Associated Press there are indications that senior leaders of al-Qaida may be considering shifting their main focus from Iraq to Afghanistan.
U.S. Ambassador Ryan Crocker tells the AP that the insurgency has withered to the point where it is no longer a threat to Iraq's future. That does not mean the war has ended, or that U.S. troops have no role in Iraq. But it does mean the combat phase finally is ending, years past when President Bush declared it had.
Despite the favorable signs, U.S. commanders are leery of proclaiming victory. But the Iraqi government and the U.S. now are able to shift focus from mainly combat to mainly building the fragile beginnings of peace.
(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)