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It Isn't Over Yet

This column was written by CBS News Early Show Co-Anchor Harry Smith.
President-elect Barack Obama announced his foreign policy team today, along with his Attorney General pick.

During the Q&A session with reporters afterward, one of the scribes asked about Iraq and troop withdrawals.

And While Mr. Obama reminded the questioner of what he said many times during the campaign about the situation on the ground.

What I'm afraid most don't appreciate is while the situation there has improved dramatically from say two and a half years ago, Iraq remains a very dangerous place.

Yes, U.S. casualties are at their lowest level since the war began but, the civilian death toll is still significant.

The Iraqi government says 296 civilians died last month. That's about half the number killed last November.

Which means real progress is being made. But I'm guessing U.S. commanders will be loathe to the notion of pulling out when death remains a part of everyday life.