The signs are promising. First, Mailiki was prepared to order his forces into Basra in an effort to curb the power of the militias and the Iranian trained special groups. Second, it seems that Iran’s role in the fighting in Basra has been, as Defense Secretary Gates put it, "a real eye-opener" for Malik. Third, the Americans—as The Washington Posts reports—are now more committed than ever to tackle the “Iranian-armed militias [who] are now the biggest threat to internal order". Gates declared yesterday that, "We are going to be as aggressive as we possibly can be inside Iraq in trying to counter their efforts."