Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Iraqi Fatalities

I generally gauge the success of our efforts to tamp violence down in Iraq by the coalition hostile death count.

According to the latest data, we seem to be settling into late 2003, early 2004 territory, with death tolls in the 30s. The death toll has been around 30 in 3 of the last 4 months, and after dipping to 14 in December, is at 32 (so far) in January, suggesting that the decrease in violence has bottomed out.

I have been unwilling to make statements of this sort previously, because complaining that the violence "has been brought down only to 2006/2005/2004 levels" seemed unfair as long as the decreasing trend was continuing; but now that the level seems to have stabilizd at a new equilibrium, it is fair to start using the current numbers as the measure to judge our current strategy (at least in terms of violence levels against the coalition, which increasingly means just the U.S.).

That is all.

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