After two years of campaigning, the US Presidential race enters its final week, and for the most of those two years, Iraq looked like an unwinnable war.
The so-called surge strategy adopted by George Bush, the outgoing president, deployed 30,000 additional US troops to Iraq in 2007 and has dominated, much of the debate about the war.
Both this year's presidential candidates, Barack Obama and John McCain, have praised it as a huge success.
McCain even cites his early support of the surge as his most important foreign policy credential.
An arguably even more significant development has been the "the awakening movement" where the US gives money, weapons, and military support, to tribal sheiks in return for them clearing their territories of US opponents and al-Qaeda members and sympathisers in Iraq.
But the delicate and precarious sectarian balance, between Shia and Sunna Muslims in Iraq could still undermine this risky strategy.