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Statistical Trends in the American-Iraqi War
As of June 2, 2007, Operation Iraqi Freedom had cost the lives of 3475 American soldiers, with another 12 deaths awaiting confirmation by the Department of Defense. On a monthly basis, the death toll for Coalition troops has been highly volatile, rising significantly during periods of intensified operations, such as during the seige of Fallujah in late 2004 and after. May 2007 marks yet another month of significantly higher casualty rates than are typical, and this is in part due to the "troop surge" President Bush initiated early this year, but it is also the result of what the Washington Post
describes in a June 3, 2007, article
as "increasingly sophisticated and lethal means of attack" being used by insurgents.
The graphic below, derived from statistics available at the private, highly informative site, Iraq Coalition Casualties
, shows the month-by-month Coalition casualty numbers, the vast majority of which represent deaths of U.S. troops.
Note in the above graphic that the monthly number of troops killed had been trending downward from the beginning of this year until April, when the casualty figure jumped steeply and then climbed even higher in May. No let-up is expected: Queen Mary College military analyst Toby Dodge is quoted in the Washington Post
article cited above as expecting "a very nasty summer" as disparate insurgent forces, including al-Qa'ida in Iraq, Ja'ish al-Mahdi, and others, turn away from targeting Iraqis and set their sites on killing American soldiers with increasingly sophisticated operational tactics and more destructive weaponry.
Evidence of the maturation of the insurgency in its various factions comes in many forms, but perhaps the most troubling statistic is captured below, which shows the month-to-month ratio of wounded-to-killed Coalition soldiers. The lower the ratio, the more lethal, on average, attacks had been during a given month. The chart below, again derived from data available at Iraq Coalition Casualties
, shows the troubling trend.
The red line is the three-month (reverse sum) weighted moving average of the wounded-to-killed ratio, and it clearly shows that the ratio has been generally trending downward since about the last half of 2006. According to
GlobalSecurity.org director John Pike, quoted in the Washington Post
article, "[T]he closer you... get to that 3-to-1 ratio," the more like a "stand-up fight" characteristic of 20th Century wars the American-Iraqi conflict becomes.
With the trend toward more sophisticated, targeted, lethal violence against U.S. troops, and with no prospect in the foreseeable future for any drawdown of American involvement in Iraq, the Summer is, indeed, shaping up to be "very nasty," as is the Autumn and well beyond.
The Dark Wraith trusts that the Democrats in Congress have already prepared their future excuses for failing to stop the Bush Administration's debacle.
The Democrats? From Dave Lindorff in The Baltimore Chronicle:
Perhaps the best indication of the toothlessness and complicity of the new Democratic Congress is that President Bush, who between September 2001 and December 2006 used so-called “signing statements” and a bogus claim of extra-constitutional executive authority as commander in chief in time of war to invalidate 1200 laws or parts of laws passed by Congress, hasn’t issued a single one since January.
More at the link.
'Course, maybe the Republicans figured it'd be a good idea to cut the Democrats in on a piece of the action. Guess that might explain their wussiness or complicity.
Peter, look at Executive Orders.
Okay. There's differences between "signing statements" and "Executive Orders"; as well as "presidential directives", I would suppose, based on a very short study.
So, may I say that Lindorff is correct in his assumption, but, for incorrect reasons?
If the answer is yes, then the next question I would ask is,
"Is Lindorff engaging in "mis-information"? If so, it looks to me like he's about as good at it as the guys who originally decided to differentiate between "statements", "orders", "directives", etc.
About 40 years ago or so, I first heard a term to describe such individuals as these. Time has not diluted that term's descriptive qualities: "BULLSHIT ARTISTS". But I am reasonably prepared to deal with these purveyors of poop. I spent many years doing farm work and have shoveled shit from just about every animal species that can be found in an agricultural setting. (I actually prefer to deal with pig manure, though, as opposed to that generated by cows. Cows will shit and then lay in it. Pigs, however, if confined to a hog house, will use one end of the building to dump their buns, and if able to exit the building, will go outside to relieve themselves. Come to think of it, those human beings who are addicted to indoor plumbing could profit by their example.)
That, Peter of Lone Tree, would then qualify the neo-cons as being of a species of pigs, for they and the others of wealth and power will never have to lie in what they have put before us as fine bedding.
It is, therefore, yet another example of the Shakespearean exchange, paraphrased as below:
"What ho, there, knave: whose grave is this?"
"'Tis me own."
"Well, I should think it must be thine, for thou liest in it!"
The Dark Wraith wishes the neo-cons would, indeed, have to lie in the lies they make.
The Democrats seemed to have glomed on to the Republican Talking Point "it'll be a blood bath if we leave".
Others like Obama are trying to humanize the circumstances we find ourselves in justifying the continued occupation of Iraq by saying we have a "moral and humanitarian" duty to stay there.
Don't you worry Mr. Wraith, as long as the checks are flowing from contractors back into Congress, there'll be excuses to keep us there.
Just when it looks like Georgie Boy couldn't do anymore to help his already rich friends, he brings back the cold war.
And what happens when we have a cold war kiddies? Well, lucrative overrun contracts go to the friends of W.
Brilliant! Thank you Karl.
I, for one, miss the Cold War, Father Tyme.
Unfortunately, it just won't be the same with weasels like Bush and Putin runnng it. Those two corrupt idiots could actually get us all killed.
Come to think of it, the Dark Wraith is going to downright hate the Cold War, Release 2.0.
What Polishifter wrote makes me cry. I so wish that we could try to get out of the way in Iraq and see what happens. Why do I think that our presence there exacerbates the situation?
Good morning, Dark Wraith.
Just noticed the latest:
Quoth the Dark Wraith
According to the Center for Education Policy, student math and science scores have gone up since the advent of No Child Left Behind.
Yes, you policy wonk morons, of course the test scores have gone up. You bully teachers into teaching exclusively to a test, then you give the test, and guess what? Well, spank me, Lorna! Test scores go up!
And guess what else? Those kids still suck at math.
Education policy idiots. Grr.
"Well, spank me, Lorna!"
Hee hee, you said, "spank me".
Don't mind me, reading the quote gave me a laugh. :)
Good Morning Dark Wraith,
Roger over at The Dharma Bums
has a post up about the palletloads of cash that were shipped over to Bhagdad early in the war. I have been wondering about all that cash in re our China/inflation problem, and here's what I came up with:
I keep wondering if the money itself isn't part of the point. We owe so much to China, and one way to reduce that is to inflate the dollar.
If they print money and release it into our economy, it will do more harm than good before it affects China. If they print it up and send it into an unmonitored war zone, it can do alot of mischief in Iraq, and then in China, before it gets back to kick us in the pants.
So, it would be a win-win. Keep the war going at all costs, 'cause the military industry is the only thing we have left. Inflate the dollar to get rid of all that pesky debt. Keep the homeland population fearful and filled with hate, so we won't realize we've been stiffed.
I heard Bushco has a new Rancho down in South America some where....
So, how much would that kind of quantities of cash affect the worth of the dollar?? 1%...2% ?
Good morning, DW.
3 to 1? Looks like it's heading towards 1 to 1, kinda like gunfights or duels. This despite our great strides in surgical procedures.
"Hey, cpl. Smith, how's that prosthetic leg thingy workin' out for ya?"
" W-well pretty good, now that I'm getting the hang of it."
"That's great, Smitty. Listen up, we really need you back out there with your buds. Umm, they're all asking about you. Maybe next week we could fly ya out there, huh?"
"Uh, I just got out of the hospital yesterday, captain. I was hoping to spend some ti..."
"Cpl. Smith, sorry buddy, I'm not asking. You will report to..."
Just got done reading that they ARE sending people with missing limbs back to the party! I don't know if this is something that was done in other conflicts, 'Nam or Korea, etc., but I am disgusted with this.
This is one relatively green lefty who's willing to waste resources like these people. Giving an arm or a leg or your goddamn balls for your country isn't enough?
Father Tyme:Just when it looks like Georgie Boy couldn't do anymore to help his already rich friends, he brings back the cold war.
And what happens when we have a cold war kiddies? Well, lucrative overrun contracts go to the friends of W.
Brilliant! Thank you Karl.
Right. on. the. head. Nailed it.
One of our managers just quit at another store. Apparently her last act before departing was to make out the week's cigarette order....I'm guessing it was one to two HUNDRED cartons more than needed... When I worked at the college in housekeeping, it was standard practice to not announce moves in the department until the last minute-theory being that if you were leaving, you wouldn't do your work. I don't work this way. I work twice as hard in fear the person following me will make disparaging comments. Sabatage? Well, it is probably the low level grunt who will clean up the mess, not the manager I'd want to "get", so once again, not my style-why get in trouble over something that won't give me even an iota of satisfaction? But it is apparently the style of enough people that management expects crap like this.
Bushco had the choice not to attack Iraq to begin with, and blew it. They then had the choice to go, ooops, we have put our hand in a scorpion's nest, hey, UN, hey, other Muslim countries, we need some help and advice here. Blew it.Several of Iraq's neighbors OFFERED help-turned down because Busco would not let them do the necessary, only what we deemed we needed(and we've shown how good we were at guessing that). Blew it. As time has gone on, both the war and the situation at home have spiraled on a downward slope, with quite a few moments along the way that _could_ have yeilded something good if Bushco had simply reached out and admitted to human fraility and error and the need for help. The situation in Iraq is such that I'm not sure it isn't too late for mitigating the harm we have done, even with the help and full cooperation of all the muslims in the middle east not actively trying to kill us at the moment.
My rambling does have a point....if a person without work ethics or true self esteem is going to be leaving a job which they realize has been going badly, do they try really hard to clean up everything before someone has to take over, or do they with malice aforethought screw things up as thoroughly as possible? Or mayhap, the person is just hopelessly out of their league but refuses to admit it and just keeps the status quo going, leaving a mess but not out of malice . I think there is quite a bit of "we're screwed, we have too much "pride" to say we screwed up, so we will "stay the course" until we get replaced...after all, if we sell the point we did great to the historians, actual results don't matter". I also think that once they hit the point of hopelessness (the one's with the brains to see it), a fair number are taking quite malicious delight in handing the next Dem President the biggest, stinkin'ist mess they can, after all, the dems are their enemy. So soak it for ever penny, every bit of power, everything that can be milked from the available domestic and foreign cows, because A) it ain't gonna be there for you in 2 years, and B) it makes it that much more of a pain for the next president and his coterie, and you can sit back and laugh while living on the proceeds.
As an aside to DW, there being no open thread at present, I checked my e-mail for the first time in weeks, and see that Lycos has deigned to permit you to mail me. Yay!
There was a very good documentary last night on a psychological profile of Bush. It showed how he suffered from a messianic complex, was abused by his father and loved his mother, was sexually frigid with his wife but had perverted relations with a close niece, Condi or something, and generally showed how unstable he is...wait a minute. That was about Hitler...
Sniffing my way thru the blogosphere recently I find people latching onto an apparent trend for al-Q to be wearing out its welcome even among the Sunni factions, and the possibility that Sadr might become our new best friend. Still, al-Q is but a small part of the problem and we can surely rely on Sadr to be just as much of "a uniter, not a divider" as Bush proved to be. Where do we go from here? Thank God we have a high-level DOD anti-IED task force burning the midnight oil, and plans to ship thousands of mine-resistant vehicles to Iraq to replace HUMVEEs. Will technology and tactics rescue a failed strategy? The slim Democratic congressional majority must hope so.
rm hitchens:Thank God we have a high-level DOD anti-IED task force burning the midnight oil, and plans to ship thousands of mine-resistant vehicles to Iraq to replace HUMVEEs.
They've had this technology for at least two years. At $1mil. a piece though, and all of a sudden the greased skids had a whole beach full of sand thrown on them.
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