Monday, April 9, 2007

Is the "Surge" working?

Here's a before and after the 'surge' graphic from this morning's New York Time article on: Patterns of War Shift in Iraq Amid Buildup of U.S. Force that sheds some light on the degree to which the "surge" is working.

Disaggregating the figures by area is helpful at clarifying better what is happening on the ground. For example, the increase in Baghdad deaths and Diyala deaths due to IED both look substantial while the drop off in total deaths in Anbar Province is also striking.

By selecting a 7 week Before Period and a 7 week After Period, this graphic sets up the possiblity of direct and straightforward Apples to Apples
comparisons .

I would also have liked to see all the same key factors represented on this chart (such as Baghdad deaths by IED, Baghdad deaths by other causes, Anbar deaths by IED) also available as a week by week trend table and charts with the time frame stretching back to the beginning of the war so that the trends showing up in the current casualty levels could be put put into a broader context.

Of course, adding in other factors such as US troops wounded, Iraqi forces deaths and wounded, and Iraqi civilian deaths and wounded would give a much fuller picture of the degree to which the "surge" has so far changed things in Iraq.

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