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The Surge is Working!*

Originally published at BunkBlog. You can comment here or there.

U.S. military deaths in July of each of the past five years, in Iraq:

July 2003: 48
July 2004: 54
July 2005: 54
July 2006: 43
July 2007: 80

U.S. military deaths in Iraq, this year, with 2006 figures in parens:

January: 83 (62)
February: 81 (55)
March: 81 (31)
April: 104 (76)
May: 126 (69)
June: 101 (61)
July: 80 (43)

So, exactly how is the surge working? Michael O’Hanlon of the “liberal” Brookings Institution said, “I think we have reduced the amount of violence overall.” Um…Maybe he doesn’t understand numbers so good. If you want to say that the violence decreased in July, you may have a point, but the violence always decreases in July in the Mideast - it’s a jillion degrees there, and even psychos with bombs get heat stroke.

Iraqi citizens also had an increase in month-to-month and year-to-year casualties, of approximately 25% in both cases.  So, while U.S. military casualties in July went down from June, the Iraqi casualties actually increased.  But the surge is working.

* for some values of “working” that can’t be measured


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 8th, 2007 03:51 pm (UTC)
Success in war is not determined by how many casualties you suffer. The easiest way to avoid casualties is not to fight. That's also the easiest way to lose. The question is, are we achieving other goals? Are we taking territory, are the other guys losing even more men than we are? Are we shutting down his infrastructure and support? That's a subject for rational debate. But the number of casualties is completely irrelevant.
Aug. 8th, 2007 05:34 pm (UTC)
I agree that it's irrelevant, but it's what has been touted by the Brookings guys as a measure of success. And it's not true.

Are we taking territory? That's impossible to assess, since nobody without a vested interest in the outcome can get close enough to tell. As any veteran will tell you (well, maybe not zoomies, but they're odd), the boots on the ground are the only measure of victory. And if we can't even be sure enough of the safety of outsiders that the press and NGOs can't even verify if we control territory, it's a pretty good indication that we don't.

Is the infrastructure and support being curtailed? Not so far as anyone can tell. There were more attacks by insurgents in July than in any month since 2003. Sounds like they've got plenty of munitions and fighters.

I so want this entire event to end with something beneficial, but it sure doesn't look likely. I have a great number of friends who have served in Iraq or are preparing to deploy, and I would hate to think that they're being used unwisely.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )