the blog of DC Drinking Liberally

March 15, 2007

How’s the troop surge going? What troop surge?


While there seems to be less news from Iraq than ever recently, we are hearing occasional stories cautiously suggesting that the violence is down a little. An AP story Wednesday reported that bombing deaths in Baghdad are down 30% over the last month.

But according to The Brookings Institute’s Iraq Index, violence overall is way up:

“Iraqis Killed in Multiple Fatality Bombings”:

July: 490 (record high)
November: 580 (record high)
December: 574
January: 442
February 704 (record high)

“Iraqis Wounded in Multiple Fatality Bombings”:

July: 1161 (record high)
November: 1010
December: 1254 (record high)
January: 1081
February: 1684 (record high)

And about that troop surge:

September: 144,000 US troops (+18,000 foreign troops)
October: 144,000 (17,200)
November: 140,000 (+18,000)
December: 140,000 (+15,200)
January: 132,000 (+14,650)
February: 135,000 (+14,010)
March: 141,000 (+14,035)

In other words, there are less troops now than there were in December prior to the “troop surge”.

I assume this is largely because of troop rotations. We’ll have to see where the troop levels are in a couple of months. But so far, the “Year of the Troop Surge” was 2005. US forces were at 150,000 or more for 6 months out of 2005 (all-time high was 160,000 in November and December 2005). If I were John McCain, I’d be asking the White House if we’re ever going to get to those levels again. What followed our efforts in 2005, of course, was a dramatic increase in violence in 2006. (Troop levels ranged from about 130,00-144,000 in 2006.)

Bottom line, the violence in Iraq continues unabated.

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DCDL is a blog by Washington, DC-area members of Drinking Liberally. Opinions expressed are the writers’, not those of Drinking Liberally, which provides no funding or other support for this blog.

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