J.D. JOHANNES POSTS A REPORT FROM BAGHDAD, with pictures and lots of interesting information. It’s a must-read, but here’s an excerpt:

Is there hope for Baghdad? Yes. The additional U.S. forces from the surge are already showing limited signs of success. They are not the signs quantified by London or D.C. think tanks.

Every Battalion Commander I talked with gave me the same metrics to measure success–Commerce, people returning to their homes, essential services, kids playing soccer in fields they haven’t played on in 2 years, professionalization of the police and security services.

Those are things that do not fit well in an index and things a person can only see on the ground by going back to the same areas of operation every few months.

Which is why I will be back in Dora and West Rasheed in a few months.

Really, read the whole thing.