Thursday, January 03, 2008

After the Peak

As I've noted, the situation in Iraq has improved dramatically since the surge took effect--even the New York Times admitted it!

But that's not the lede for the MSM and nut-roots:
Time magazine: 2007 Deadliest for US Troops in Iraq

Associated Press: 2007 becomes deadliest yet for U.S. in Iraq

Puffington Host: 2007 Deadliest Year For US Troops In Iraq

After Downing Street: 2007 Worst Year Yet in Iraq
As news, it has the virtue of being true. According to the Iraq Coalition Casualty Count, there were about 75 more U.S. military deaths in Iraq as compared with last year:

source: Iraq Coalition Casualties Count

But as Gateway Pundit observes, that shouldn't obscure the trend. Since the surge fully was deployed last spring, US fatalities have dropped:

source: Gateway Pundit via Iraq Coalition Casualty Count

As you can see, December 2007 had fewer U.S. casualties than only one other month-- a 29 day-long February 2004:

source: Iraq Coalition Casualty Count

A good chart of U.S. deaths since Saddam was toppled is here.

Of course, not all deaths come in combat; but considering combat-only fatalities, they're down too:

source: Iraq Coalition Casualty Count

Non-hostile deaths are no less tragic. But statistics on combat deaths have a more direct relationship to our methods and progress. Blogger Charlie Foxtrot drew a graph of hostile deaths per day; dramatically down since spring:

source: Charlie Foxtrot

Still, ChenZhen's Chamber complains that declining U.S. military deaths is a poor metric for success because the "object of the “surge” wasn’t to reduce U.S. casualties." Perhaps--but other trends since the surge are consistent. For example, on Sunday, Commanding General David Petraeus said violent attacks in the country had fallen by 60 percent since June. Iraqi sectarian death rates are dropping too. Also, late December saw the drafting of two bills that would promote reconciliation between Iraq's Sunnis and Shi'ias. And last month, Iraq's Interior Minister said "that 75% of al-Qaeda in Iraq's terrorist network had been destroyed this year." All this might be why, unlike the past few years, Reuters pronounced Baghdad safe enough to party 'til it's 2008.

Too bad lefties and the MSM are stuck in 1968.

P.S.: note this on SeacoastConnects from a poster called 03801, decrying "the 3,855 who have given their live for nothing more then an attempt to prove a poltical [sic] ideology." I guess he wouldn't have supported using our military to prove democracy is better than Nazism, or that Americans should be free with free-will, not slaves, the property of another, or using the command of the seas to end the slave trade, as Britain's Royal Navy did, unilaterally and by force, etc.


From the Dec. 31-Jan. 7 Weekly Standard:

source: Weekly Standard (subscription only)


According to Terrorist Death Watch:
Sometime on December 27, 2007, in a fierce gun battle in Al Kut, a milestone was reached. 20,000 terrorists have been killed by our troops in Iraq.

Number 20,000 was a Shia, working for a Special Groups cell supplied by Iran and operating in defiance of Sadr’s orders.
(via American Power)

1 comment:

ChenZhen said...

Thanks for the link, but I was reacting to Totten's rather curious analysis. I would have just left a comment over there, but he had them disabled.

Anyway, it will be interesting to see if the trend continues or reverses when troop levels are reduced this year.