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August 04, 2005


Opinionated Bastard

I've been following and analyzing these for awhile now.







The most recent report is misleading, because the car bomb that killed 14 US soldiers yesterday actually will probably raise the number for August much above July, but it looks like steep dropoff since June. Realize that the number for August is high for the 4th day of the month though...

Looking at the latest:

US Fatalities were down for July, but they're going to be up in August, due to both the car bomb I just mentioned, and the fact that the US just started a major operation which always raises fatalities.

The total number of Iraqi Police killed keeps rising, this is a side effect of the fact that the IP are sharing more of the burden.

Iraqi civilians killed each month seems to be plateauing. Fewer bombings in July, and fewer people killed.

Attacks on Oil and Gas stuff has plateaued.

As has the number of attacks by insurgents. Its interesting to note that the numbers drop during major US operations, so taking the war to them keeps them busy.

The amount of Iraqi Security Personell increases by about 3,000/month.

We may be getting a handle on electricity: generation in July was pretty good.

Did that help? Here's something else to look at:


Christopher Fotos

One interesting thing: The Iraqi police & military deaths have been rising, while in VERY broad terms you can say U.S. military deaths have been falling since around Dec.04/Jan.05 (The trend line for the US over that period is like a dying stock-a peak, a big decline, a halfway recovery, a big decline, halfway recovery, big decline etc. Of course who knows what August will bring). In any case it buttresses the case that Iraq is taking more responsibility for killing the bad guys.


It means the establishment left in DC has decided to move on. The war was/is an issue they can't win on and it gets in the way of topics they think they can discuss advantageously. It's their George Aiken moment.

Christopher Fotos

Not a real confidence booster to see Iraq Body Count included as one among several civilian casualty estimate sources.

Hard to make some comparisons--some of the dat a stops in May, lots of other in July or Aug. etc.

About half as many killed in multi casualty bombings (528) in July as in June (919) but we're getting off to a bad start in August.

Non Iraq civilian contractor death down steadily during April-July, 21, 10, 4, 4) (Fewer targets or fewer attempts?

"Very rough" estimate of killed or detained insurgents is at 2000 a month for the last three months, up from just previously, may be data artifact. Thanks.

Christopher Fotos

Estimated strength of insurgency steady-to-growing depending on your timeline. Was 20,000 last August, dips to 16,000, then 15-20k, now "no more than 20,000."

Foreign fighters 750-1000, similar to recent past.

Nationalities of non-Iraqi jihadists is wayyyyyyy Saudi.

Yeah, general trend of attacks on oil & gas is down since December. Up in May June to 10 each (10? I thought those guys were getting shelled all the time) but down from the Dec. count of 30.

No. of daily attacks by insurgents steadily up then continuing since March, 70 daily in May June July.

Helicopter downings down steadily since Nov.Dec.


Is it time to declare victory again, already?

Christopher Fotos

173,900 total Iraqi security forces, a slow steady increase. Includes about 94,800 general police capabilities ("trained & equipped--not counting unauthorized absences!) 79,1004 National Guard and Iraqi Armed Forces.

Good luck figuring out true situation of fuel supply. Part of the chart is expressed as percentage of goals, which change. Last few months, 93, 97 and 97%. Asbolute numbers, e.g, oil production in million barrels a day, 2.14, 2.1, 2.17, 2.15 over last four months through July. Cf. to 2.5 million, estimated pre-war peak.

Electricty capacity has yet to recover to last August levels, though it has been rising almost uninterrupted since the trough last November. Last three months. 3.7, 4.1, 4.5 thousand megawatts nationwide. Stats for Baghdad alone, which had been falling since February, are not available since May.

People are yakking though. Telephone subscribers up to 3.8 million compared to 1.4 million last August (land and cell).

Les Nessman

Or is it time to declare Viet Nam again, ad nauseum?

Christopher Fotos

You get the idea. Looks like a typical social sciences poll where there's news for everyone. There's very positive polling data, but timeline ends in April. For example, 67% thought Iraq was "heading in the right direction," and 82% thought their life would be better a year later. The "heading in right direction" poll in Sunni areas had risen to 40%, up from 15%. Some interesting polling data down toward the end of the study. E.G. % against using violence to achieve political ends increased slightly, and it was always high--like a move from 91% to 93%.


"Right" is a little ambiguous.

What if "right direction" to a Shiite is "Militant Islamic Theocracy"?

And what if "right direction" to a Sunni means "we are regaining control of the country."?

Actually I have the same problem with this question on American poll, i.e. if James Dobson thinks the country's going in the right direction, I probably don't.

Christopher Fotos

Yup, that's a problem built into the question.


All these comments are bullshit.


Couple of points I grabbed:

Number of daily attacks by insurgents:
Peak of 77 in November last year

This year:
Jan: 61
Feb: 54
March: 45
April: 60
May: 70
June: 70
July: 70

Percentage of IEDs founds and disarmed
Dec 2003: 40%
Dec 2004: 50%
April 2005: 40%

That latter one jumps out at me. Lots of reports of growing sophistication of the IEDs.


Mark Coffey

My two cents: it's a distinctly mixed bag. Looking through the initial pages, my optimism soared, but by the time I got to the estimates of the number of insurgents, and also the low estimate of foreign fighters (roughly 5% of 'no more than 20,000'), I lost much of the initial glow...the progress is real, on some fronts, but on other very important ones, if the numbers from the report are accurate, we are barely staying even, if that...

Opinionated Bastard

I found a cool image in one of the source documents. You might like it:



Ah, yes, Iraq, the Land of Purple Fingered Majesty.


Here are some numbers, not carefully checked; their accuracy isn't the point.

For every dead American soldier or marine there have been created 5,000 voting Iraqis and 12,500 free Iraqis. If this has even a small effect, and how can't it, in the struggle against Islamic extremism, it is probably worth it.

Phil Smith

Caveat on the Brookings data: you have to check the footnotes. It is often the case that the data for this month turns out to not have been updated for quite some time. Last I checked, that was the case with the numbers on the strength of the insurgency.


It's the Brookings Institution,not Institute. I point it out only because I've made the same mistake myself.


Welcome to our game world, my friend asks me to buy some 12sky gold .


When you have LOTRO Gold, you can get more!

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