Whilst I have always doubted the wisdom of US military action in Iraq on the grounds that American forces could get bogged down in a prolonged war there are indications that in al-Anbar Province and some other areas, local Sunni sheikhs have switched their allegiance in recent months from Al-Qaeda to the Iraqi government and the coalition. This is a signal success for Bush.
The sheikhs originally viewed Al-Qaeda fighters as heroes. These fighters however attempted to impose strict punishments on the local Sunni population for smoking and drinking. They also began to forcibly marry Sheikhs daughters. The Sunni population has realised that life under Al Qaeda is hell.
Now some Sunni sheikhs are battering rams in the war against Al-Qaeda. Al Qaeda is being fought in the Middle East both in Iraq Afghanistan and Pakistan far away from US borders.
To a certain degree its energy is being sapped.
There has been no repeat of 9/11 on US soil. The US has beefed up intelligence gathering. There is intelligence sharing and cooperation between the United States European countries Australia et al. Also attacks have been averted.
Bush and the GOP can argue that they have successfully protected the security of the US. This is an important trump card in the 2008 Congressional and Presidential elections.