Sunday, June 10, 2007

Old problems plague new security plan for Iraq

Here's an interesting post from Fort Wayne's News Sentinel:

KRT Wire 06/08/2007 Old problems plague new security plan for Iraq

The much more precise and quantified language describing the situation on the ground in Iraq in this Editorial by Nancy A. Youssef of McClatchy Newspapers stands in stark contrast to the fuzzy, imprecise, unquantified example we gave in the recent Washington Post Forecast on Iraq story.

Best to check these two articles out for yourself to see what I mean.

In the meantime, here are some actual numeric indicators from the article that will give you a flavor of what I am talking abut.

Number of bodies found on Baghdad's Streets
Troop levels numbers in Baghdad for US, Iraqi forces & Police
Number of neighborhoods under control
People killed in explosion
Number of car bombs

Having actual key measurable indicators mentioned by name and having actual data values for how these have changed over time is strikingly more informative and useful.

Is it good enough? Not nearly. It's a perfect example one interpretation of Von Clauswitz' "the better is the enemy of the good", but that's a subject for another post.

Hat tip to Juan Cole over at Informed Consent.

And kudos to Nancy Youssef for raising the bar.

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