Friday, August 31, 2007

Month 53 of the War By the Numbers

As far as the war in Iraq is concerned, the trouble with September for the Bush administration is that August has to come first.

This means the good news in the run-up to the anxiously awaited Petraeus-Crocker progress report gets upstaged by the bad news: Negligible decreases in U.S. and Iraqi casualties despite all of the spinning about how much better things are.
Beyond all of those congressional junkets to Iraq, which almost inevitably produced statements from returning honorables like "Golly gee, that surge thing sure is working!," August also was notable for:

* An Associated Press investigation that found deaths from political violence have increased
since the surge began, averaging 62 per day, while deaths per day from political violence in 2006 averaged 33. And while Baghdad is safer that is because the violence has been pushed out elsewhere.

* A growing debate over troop levels. Some active-duty commanders and a fair number of retired ones are warning that the war is bringing the Army to its knees because of the physical and emotional demands that it is putting on its soldiers as well as the Pentagon's inability to quickly replace damaged and destroyed vehicles and materiel.

* A declassified version of the National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq concluded that Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki can't find his mojo and there won't be legislative reforms unless there is a fundamental shift in governance. Translation: Throw the bum out.

* Despite its years-long efforts to stabilize Basra in southern Iraq, the British Army is watching Shiite militias fill the power vacuum being created as their troops draw down by escalating their rivalries in a violent effort to control the region's rich oil resources.

Over 400 people were killed in a series of coordinated suicide bombings in northern Iraqm kaing them the deadliest coordinated attack since 9/11.

* * * * *
Herewith our monthly numbers roundup, or what's left of it because U.S. and Iraq officials have been withholding an increasing number of statistics. (August 2007 totals are in orange; July 2007 totals are in black.):

1,548 -- (1,688) Iraqis killed (*)
81 (88) -- U.S. troops killed

3,238 -- (June-July: 3,033) Iraqis killed (*)
169 (June-July: 179) -- U.S. troops killed

3,735 (3,657) -- Total killed

$447,471,000,000 ($431,991,000,000)

(*) Includes Iraqi Army personnel, security forces, national police and civilians. Sources: National Priorities Project, Iraq Coalition Casualty Count, Defense Manpower Data Center.

Photograph by Agence France Presse


Distributorcap said...

but kiko, the surge is WORKING........

it amazes me that Chimpy gets up says that -- and there are still SOME people that believe it

back to the coffee

Anonymous said...