Secretary of Defense Robert Gates visited Baghdad as bombs exploded in the city causing the death of 12 and wounding of two dozen people. Levels of violence have declined in recent months by car bombings continue plaguing security in the capital. Gates is meeting with Iraq officials in order to discuss the future of America’s role in fighting militants. “There is no question we will still be engaged as we are, but the areas in which we are seriously engaged will, I think, continue to narrow.” The unresolved issue is how does the United States work
with an Iraqi government which already has angered thousands of Sunnis who cooperated with the Americans only to find themselves outcast by the Shiite government.
General Austin noted the situation is “still very fragile. Things could happen to turn things around.” That is always a danger when the government of Iraq leaves much to be desired in terms of its ability to cooperate with dissident groups.