Wednesday, January 24, 2007

First cut at identifying most important factors

Here's one private citizen's view on which of the 142 Iraq factors identified so far are most vital to understanding what is happening on the ground in Iraq. These are the ones that I believed need to be measured and reported on regularly so we can see the trends at work. I have picked 34 out of 142 (or about 24% of the total) so this is something like an 80/20 selection.

What does your list look like?

It would be excellent to see Michael O'Hanlon's list, or Anthony Cordesman's list, or Secretary Gate's list, or Secretary Rice's list, or Lt. Gen. Petraeus' list of the top factors they will be considering as we go forward.

From the Brookings Iraq Index Report
  • Average Weekly Attacks by Time Period – 01 Jan 2004 – 11 Aug 2005
  • Iraqi Deaths from All Violent Causes – Jan 06- Oct 06
  • Enemy-Initiated Attacks Against the Coalition and its Partners May 2003 –Aug 2006
U.S Dept. of State's Iraq Weekly Status Report (30 pages, January 10, 2007).
  • Crude oil production for the past 10 weeks.
  • Electricity production compared to electricity demand since January 2004.
5 trend graphs drawn from Iraq Coalition Casualties
  • US Soldiers Killed with moving avg & event timing - March 2003 - December 30, 2006
  • US Soldiers Wounded with moving avg - Sept 6, 2003 - Dec 29, 2006
from Michael O'Hanlon's testimony. 30 factors
  • Estimated Strength of Insurgency
  • Estimated Strength of Shia Militias
  • Daily Average of Inter-ethnic Attacks
  • Iraqi Security Forces who are Politically Dependable
  • Percent of Household Fuel Needs Available
  • Avg Hours/Day of Power Baghdad (prewar 20)
  • Unemployment Rate (%)
New indicators calculated from combinations of O'Hanlon's metrics
  • total number of Iraqi Physicians who have murdered, kidnapped, or who have left Iraq.
  • percent of coalition troops that are not US troops
  • Percent of US troops killed by IEDs
  • Year over year increase in Iraqi refugees
Additional factors (missing metrics) contained in the text of O'Hanlon's testimony
  • Rate of Shia attacks on Sunnis
  • Rate of Sunni attacks on Shia
  • The number of children being immunized.
  • Rate of Jobs Creation
  • Degree of Overwork of our Soldiers and Marines
55 missing metrics/invisible indicators/faceless factors from Brookings Iraq Index
  • Civilian deaths in Baghdad (page 12 table)
  • Iraqis Kidnapped in Baghdad (table page 15)
  • Iraqi prison population in US Custody (table page 16)
  • Iraqi prison population in Iraqi Custody (table page 16)
  • Number of total daily patrols (chart page 23)
  • Gasoline/Benzene production (table page 29)
  • Total cost of US operations (table page 37)
  • People with potable water (table page 42)
  • People with sewerage system coverage (table page 42)
  • High School enrollment percentage (table page 43)
  • Percentage of Iraqis who strongly oppose presence of Coalition troops (table page 51)


Jerald.Neumann said...

Got here from WaPO. The level of research you have done is impressive. I think some added metrics would involve: 1) Iraq's neighbors and 2) Metrics on Afghanistan. Iraq will only succeed as a country if it is helped by its neighbors so looking at how well Iraq is accepted (through media coverage, diplomats, etc.) might be a good way to indicate whether the Iraqi government has their support. And, the 'war on terror' (which is a bullshit moniker) includes our front in Afghanistan. From what I can tell, a lot of the metrics deal with Iraq alone. I don't think we can afford to look at any country and not acknowledge its neighbors. Case in point, a lot of what America has lost has been collateral with its allies.

Steve Lieman said...

Thanks, Jerald. These are good ideas which I will include in my next cut at creating a composite set of metrics that can be used to gauge our progress.