(How important have these Awakening Councils been in bringing down violence in Iraq over the past year?) crucial, if you go by what the President and military commanders have said. (But many members of the Awakening Councils are former insurgents, so how real is the break with Al Qaeda in Iraq?) Well that's the problem: you're paying former insurgents to switch sides. So they've been promised jobs in the government or as policeman, but that hasn't always happened, so a lot of them are disillusioned. (The Americans are supposed to pay each man $10 a day, is that happening?) In many cases it is, but the Americans are frustrated with the Central Government because they want them to speed up the process of folding them into the government and police but it's happening very slowly. (Why?) A lot of people in the Shiite led government are suspicious of these people and rightly so because of their former links to Al Qaeda in Iraq. (So how fragile are the gains made by the Awakening Councils?) Very. There are divisions on the ground in neighborhoods in Iraq. Things can flip easily back into civil war. (Could the Americans lose the people in the Awakening Councils?) It's very possible, it could go either way. (Has the world gotten too complacent about these gains?) Absolutely. The story has also become more complicated. Again, this could come back and haunt us down the road.