02 December 2007

Thoughts on Why Violence is Down in Iraq

It's the beginning of the month and the usual reports of the death toll in Iraq have been trickling in. While still too high, the violence has been trending downward in the right direction. There were 606 Iraqis killed due to violence in November, which marks the lowest number since Al-Qaeda Iraq ignited sectarian strife by bombing the Al-Askari mosque in Samarra. While still incredibly tragic, the coalition death toll is also down in November as well to 36. So what's behind the good signs of improving security?

1) The Muqtada al-Sadr ceasefire declared in late August of Jaish al-Mahdi (JAM) has curbed much of the violence perpetrated by Shiite militias, however rogue militias still remain troublesome.

2) The CLC movement has turned Sunnis and some Shiites, angry with Al-Qaeda's extremist brutality, into neighborhood watch programs. These folks, many former insurgents, provide security in their own neighborhood and are effective at keeping infiltrators from setting up shop and conducting attacks in their respective areas.

3) Segregated neighborhoods in Baghdad based on sect, while not a desirable situation, has prevented much of the sectarian strife as these enclaves have been T-walled off for the Baghdad security plan implemented at the start of the surge.

4) Significant improvement with the Iraqi Security Forces (maybe their government should get with the program like they did).

5) However, the most important aspect of security improvements has been the surge of US forces. You can be cynical and say "What's an extra 30,000 troops gonna do in a country of 25 million?" Well it's not so much the bodies as it is the strategy. I was pondering the reasons for security improvements this morning and I came across this blog entry here on Eighty-Deuce on the Loose talking about a monster-sized cache find. The big reason security is getting better is the guys outside the wire interacting with the local population and doing patrols that gives citizens confidence to either fight or report conspiring terrorists. This leads to intelligence-driven raids against extremists, and this negates the need for protection from militias. Things are getting better security wise in Iraq due to actions like this. Swing by the blog and thank him. This hard work makes it closer to finally secure this country and scale back our military involvement.

US Forces uncover a cache


libhom said...

There is no logical basis for believing that the violence in Iraq actually is going down. The sources for this claim are the Pentagon (acting under Bush administration orders) and the puppet regime in Iraq. Neither has any credibility.

LT Nixon said...


Thanks for the post! I have addressed your comment on your blog as well as under the retorts section of mine. Please keep up the inquisitive attitude.