21 June 2008

The Surge in Iraq is Over

Sigacts until early April 2008 (from Global Security)

Iraqi Civilian Casualties (from iCasualties)
U.S. WIA in Iraq (from iCasualties)

The last of the five "surge" combat brigades is scheduled to be withdrawn from Iraq in July, leaving total U.S. force structure at around 140K (h/t Gateway Pundit). Assuming that the primary purpose of the U.S. military in Iraq is to provide security for the Iraqi population, the statistics don't lie. Iraqi civilian casualties are down, U.S. casualties are down, and significant security incidents are down. It should be noted that the SIGACT chart only goes to early April when the "Shi'ite hit the fan", but I assure you, when the next one gets declassified, it will be down too. Not too bad. Of course there's still poor infrastructure, a huge refugee crisis, and unacceptable levels of extremism in Iraq, but the situation on the ground has vastly improved since the strategy was implemented in early 2007, when Iraq was rife with sectarian bloodshed. Think LT Nixon is a foul-mouthed shill for the administration? Well, here's an Iraqi in the Adhamiyah district of Baghdad who offers up mixed progress on his blog: "The worst period was between late 2006 to middle 2007; it was the bloodiest times for Iraqis so when comparing to those times the situation is less violent but please don't forget that at that time Baghdad was like a living hell". Mistakes from BushCo in 2002/2003 can't be undone, but strategy and policy can be implemented to attempt to improve a bad situation.