"The British Defence Secretary, Des Browne, echoed such sentiments during a visit to Iraq yesterday to meet key Iraqi politicians including the Prime Minister, Nouri al-Maliki.
"I recognise there are continuing challenges and I've seen some violence over this weekend which suggests there's much more work to be done," Mr Browne told a joint news conference with the Iraqi Defence Minister, Abdul Qader Jassim. "But as Prime Minister Maliki said in an interview this weekend, things are improving and the challenge is to maintain that improvement."
Things are improving? Really? From the same article:
"At least 100 people were killed across Iraq yesterday in a day of intense gun battles and suicide bombings, contradicting US military claims that the security situation in the war-torn nation was improving.
A total of 34 bodies, including seven civilians and 25 Iraqi government soldiers, were brought into the central hospital in the town of Diwaniyah, 80 miles south of Baghdad, after fighting between government forces and gunmen of the Mehdi Army, a Shia militia loyal to the radical cleric Muqtada al-Sadr. Fifty militiamen were also killed in the gunfight, according to the Iraqi defence ministry.
In a separate development, a suicide bomber rammed a car packed with explosives into the Interior Ministry in Baghdad during the midmorning rush hour, killing 16 people, including 13 policemen, and wounding up to 62.
On Sunday, a further 60 people were killed in attacks across the country from Kirkuk in the Kurdish-held north to Basra in the south."
It is just as well things are not getting worse.