Gen. David Petraeus said he's reluctant to ever declare victory in Iraq in an interview with the BBC.

"This is not the sort of struggle where you take a hill, plant the flag and go home to a victory parade... it's not war with a simple slogan," Petraeus said.

Petraeus, the top U.S. commander in Iraq, said that security gains made since the U.S. military surge aren't irreversable and that the United States still faced a "long struggle." But he added that the withdrawal of U.S. troops from most Iraqi cities by the middle of 2009 was "doable" since Iraqis are taking more responsibility for the security of their country.