The Surge At Year One

A year after Bush sent 30,000 additional troops to Iraq, violence is down and al-Qaeda is in retreat. But the gains are still too fragile

Yuri Kozyrev / NOOR for TIME

Shoppers walk the once dangerous al-Dora district

Like many retail districts in downtown Baghdad, al-Kindy Street has lately had little to offer shoppers but a fine assortment of fear, blood and death. Shootings and regular bombings have shuttered many of al-Kindy's stores, where some of Baghdad's wealthiest residents once bought everything from eggplants to area rugs. At this time last year, al-Kindy was deteriorating into just another bombed-out corner of a city spiraling out of control.

Then came the surge—President George W. Bush's controversial deployment, beginning last January, of an additional 30,000 U.S. troops, that seemed as tactically bold as it was politically unpopular. With his approval ratings...

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