It’s pretty clear that the operational tempo for US forces in Iraq has been reduced. The continual, slow loss of soldiers and equipment is potentially a threat to US public support for the effort in that country. The insurgents know that and so doea the Bush Administration. The insurgents main target in Iraq is the destruction of the nascent government but a necessary secondary target is American public opinion. The Western media’s "take" on all that is occurring is very important to the insurgents. as someone said on TV today, "if the press moved to Basra, the insurgents would increase the tempo of their operations there."
With all that in mind, the coalition has reduced the level of its unilateral operations in order to avoid casualties.
There are some exceptions:
1-Along the syrian border operations involving a reinforced battalion of infantry (1,000+) continue with the intendtion of reducing border crossing by jihadis and breaking up the emergence of "redoubt" areas more or less under insurgent control.
2-Escort operations continue along supply routes needed for the support of US Forces. These escorts for convoys are very vulnerable to roadside bombs (IED).
3-Quick Reaction Forces (QRF) for incidents. These QRFs are essentially acting as a mobile reserve for friendly Iraqi forces.