What to make of this nugget in the latest Dexter Filkins piece from Iraq:

"Mr. Rubaie said he was encouraged by tentative signs that the insurgency has been weakening. The number of insurgent attacks against American and Iraqi forces and civilians has fluctuated in recent weeks, but the general trend line is down. In the first week of October last year, there were about 100 attacks a day, according to the American command in Baghdad. Last week, there were about 83 a day.

Still, those numbers do not take into account sectarian violence, which has risen sharply in recent months. Many mixed Sunni-Shiite neighborhoods in and around Baghdad have been the scene of intense sectarian violence, with people expelled from their homes or killed."

On the one hand, the news appears to be encouraging. Attacks on forces are down. On the other, do we have some incipient signs of low-level civil war? Meanwhile, the Bush strategy seems to be something along the lines of "Cut and Walk": somewhere between the official line of waiting to see if Iraqi forces are fully capable and getting the hell out of there.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to letters@theatlantic.com.