Towards A Good Samaritan World

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Why withdraw from Iraq when casualties are declining all around?:

81, 76, 50, 49, 43, 25

What are these numbers? This week’s Powerball winners? A safe deposit combo? New numbers to torment those poor b*stards stranded on the island in Lost?

No, they’re the number of troops that have died in hostile actions in Iraq for each of the past six months. That last number represents the lowest level of troop deaths in a year, and second-lowest in two years.

But it must be that the insurgency is turning their assault on Iraqi military and police, who are increasingly taking up the slack, right?

215, 176, 193, 189, 158, 193 (and the three months before that were 304, 282, 233)

Okay, okay, so insurgents aren’t engaging us; they’re turning increasingly to car bombs then, right?

70, 70, 70, 68, 30, 30

Civilians then. They’re just garroting poor civilians.

527, 826, 532, 732, 950, 446 (upper bound, two months before that were 2489 and 1129).

Beneath a facade of chaos, is a polity coalescing?


  • This is the msot accurate article I've ever read about the situation in Iraq. It breaks my heart. We could win this thing yet, or rather, the Iraqis could still win this thing with our help, but we're not doing what needs to be done, and not *really* getting the support we need from the highest levels. 3d ACR, 11th ACR and 1-25 INF all tried to make the top listen (1-72 is still trying but answers directly to 101st general whose only positive action when I left was to remove the "Task Force Freedom" sign and replace it with the 101st screaming eagle), but all cries for change seem to have gone nowhere, despite the personal attention of everyone from Donald Rumsfeld on down. 101st sits on its FOB waiting for the "final four" withdrawal. 1AD deprives 1/1AD of division intel resources for what I can only explain in terms of political jockeying. Baghdad's military intelligence leadership appears to have accepted "I can't" as an answer, to the frustration and despair of the MI soldiers within their aegis. Hopefully it was all growing pains and things have started to right themselves since I left, but it's difficult to keep faith within the limits of what I know.

    COL McMasters is dead right: you have to friggin' LISTEN in order to engage the problem effectively. I'd say more but I'm skating awefully close for a serving member in the Army.

    All I can say is that if we abandon the Iraqis after all this to satisfy domestic political considerations, I'll never forgive those responsible.

    By Blogger Nato, at 6:20 PM  

  • also, I'd like to point out that the rainy season, which is jsut now ending, always produces significant drops in the level of insurgent attacks - not necessarily in a number, but rather in some combination of quantity and quality. Insurgents don't really like going outside when everything's a mud pit. It would be better if the numbers went back farther so you could see the cycle more clearly.

    By Blogger Nato, at 12:02 AM  

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