Hard to believe, but five years ago there was a chorus of calls for the U.S. to pull out of Iraq because American efforts there seemed doomed. That was before Army General David Petraeus led the “surge” of 30,000 troops into Iraq that – combined with the so-called Sunni “awakening” — led to a restive calm across the country. Violence has been perking up lately, but the deal between Washington and Baghdad calls for all U.S. troops to be out of Iraq by year’s end – barely three months from now. The Government Accountability Office buried this chart in a report last week showing the U.S. has come a long way toward bringing its forces home since May 2009. Contractors — 21st Century camp followers — not so much.