A few minutes later, I boarded a Black Hawk helicopter and was soon soaring over Baghdad at night. Back in the Green Zone, as I walked to the guesthouse where I was staying for the night, I reflected on my extraordinary day. As I'd expected, my embed had provided little opportunity to hear the Iraqi point of view. Rather, it offered a look at the war through the eyes of the US military, and in that respect it had been very revealing. On the one hand, it had left me with little doubt about the very real gains the surge had brought about, and about the effectiveness of the Petraeus-led counterinsurgency strategy. The situation in Dora had obviously improved, and the combination of aggressive raids, large-scale detentions, and mixing with the community (together with the Sunni Awakening) had had a big hand in achieving that.