SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KCBS)- Many of the U.S. troops in Iraq can look forward to celebrating next 4th of July at home, or at least out of the war zone. But, the verdict is still out on whether or not Iraq is ready to stand on its own.

The headlines don’t make it much easier, suicide bombers strike government centers during Vice President Joe Biden’s Independence Day trip to Iraq.

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But Major General Steve Lanza says the draw down in forces is going very well.

U.S. forces are gradually depleting from 167 thousand to 77 thousand, prepared to meet the goal of 50 thousand by September 1st.

“We’ve also transferred over 375 bases back to the Iraqi’s as well. More importantly we’ll continue this transition to draw down as we move to end our mission here in December of 2011,” said Lanza.

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And he paints a glowing picture of the Iraqi government and Iraqi troops.

“That the government here is able to peacefully transition, but more importantly that we see the government here grow economically and politically,” added Lanza.

Nora Bensahel, a Senior Political Scientist at Rand, isn’t so sure the average Iraqi is feeling that confident worried about violence when U.S. troops leave.

“A reduced U.S. presence will lead to increased violence if the government isn’t able to control it. I think that’s what they’re most concerned about,” said Bensahel.

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This should be a key factor in determining whether or not this war truly has been a mission accomplished.