U.S. death toll in Iraq down for May

(Why is the violence down?) The immediate reason is the ceasefire that happened in Sadr City with the Mehdi Army. In the background there's been a downward trend since last summer because of the surge and the trend within the Sunni community of turning away from Al Qaeda and the overall disposition of Shiite militias. (You've been in and out of Baghdad the past several years, does it feel any different now?) It's a steady improvement. There is still violence but nothing like on the scale of a year ago when things were really bad. (What are the other threats towards security now?) The biggest is the whole process not being consolidated, the political situation is not consolidated and the Iraqi Army isn't yet ready to assume total control of security in the country. the Mehdi Army and Al Qaeda and other militias are working in the background still ready to take advantage of the right situation. We still cannot move freely, we have to move in a very low-key, guarded way because of the kidnap threat, this is for foreigners in particular.

Player utilities

This story is based on a radio interview. Listen to the full interview.