Our lack of meaningful progress at the national level in reforming the Maliki government has crippled our efforts to sustain all the successes at the grass-roots level. The risk now is that we will claim success too early, reduce our forces, watch violence increase, and lack the ability to do anything about it. Now is the time for patience, both in Baghdad and Washington. Victory in counterinsurgency, if such a thing exists, takes months, even years, to achieve. The only thing certain about this week's good news is that it will take a lot of work to produce more of it.