The security gains are real. Whether they're permanent is harder to say. And political reconciliation continues to look pretty bleak.
The surge delivered a measure of security. Not without cost, but it's fair to say that the temporary troop escalation succeeded far more than I thought it would.
Are the security gains permanent or illusory? Attacks trend downward in summer months, so I expect relative quiet until September. Radical elements in Iraq have proven to be quite savvy; it's possible, but unlikely, that they have simply chosen to wait out the troop escalation which came with an expiration date.
At bottom, however, after the surge, we are no closer to political reconciliation. That was, after all, the point of the effort.