The casualty rates continue to drop in Iraq across the board, according to USA Today. The number of deaths from all causes among American troops hit its lowest level since March 2006 despite aggressive tactics in fighting terrorists and insurgents in Iraq:
The number of U.S. combat deaths in Iraq is headed for the lowest level in more than a year and a half and the fifth consecutive monthly decline.
Twenty-seven Americans have been killed in action in October, with one day left in the month, Pentagon records show. That would be the lowest monthly level since March 2006, when 27 servicemembers died in hostile action, according to a USA TODAY analysis of Pentagon reports.
The total number of U.S. deaths, including accidents, in October so far is 35, records show.
A new strategy, backed up by 30,000 more U.S. servicemembers, has led to a decline in violence and weakened al-Qaeda, commanders say. The U.S. military started building combat outposts and moving troops outside major bases earlier this year in an attempt to provide more security. ….
All measurable violence in the Baghdad area, including attacks on civilians and sectarian murders, have declined steadily since June, he said. The overall number of monthly attacks in the Baghdad area was 2,455 in January. In October, there were 598 attacks.
“What’s done that is the people,” Campbell said. The military’s counterinsurgency doctrine says rebellions are defeated when the population turns away from insurgents.
The violence in Baghdad has dropped 80%. American casualties have hit successively lower numbers and even with an extended footprint have dropped to eighteen-month lows. Osama bin Laden has begun issuing desperate pleas for Islamists to get past their divisions, as the native insurgents turn on the foreigners for their brutality.
Those developments may not mean victory, but they mean progress.
It also puts lie to the assertion that al-Qaeda in Iraq has been either a mirage or overblown as the prime drivers of the violence in Iraq. Their rapid dissipation from the field has delivered a very large impact on violence across the nation, showing that they had been the main provocateurs behind the 2006 debacle. If they had as little influence over events as some now claim, we would see a much lower level of improvement from the surge which clearly prioritized AQI as its first target.
We need to maintain the pressure on both the terrorists and the Maliki government. Baghdad needs to start engaging the Sunnis and the Kurds and develop the structures and processes that will bind the nation together. That will have a direct impact on the cohesiveness of their security forces, which have played a larger role in holding cleared territory during the surge. The opportunity for a stable, unified Iraq has never been better.
UPDATE: Victory Caucus notes the handover of Karbala Province to the Iraqi Army. This is the eighth of 18 provinces to come under the complete control of the Iraqi government and its security forces. Again, this isn’t victory — but it’s progress.
66 thoughts on “Casualty Rates Drop To Lowest Level In 18 Months”
Violence in Baghdad has dropped 80%.
From Ed Morrissey at Captain’s Quarters:
The violence in Baghdad has dropped 80%. American casualties have hit successively lower numbers and even with an extended footprint have dropped to eighteen-month lows. Osama bin Laden has begun issuing…
I watched the “debate” last night and don’t recall any mention of declining casualties. Just more cut and run, the war is lost. Should make for a good replay during debate next October.
It’s certainly a victory.
The difference between the last five months and the three and a half years before it is that we have been able to achieve a string of victories that were so decisive and rapid that the enemy was not able to respond in similar magnitude. In the past, al-Qaeda or the Mahdi Army could respond to a major US operation within a week at the most with a massive car or suicide bombing or spike in dead Sunni bodies found in Baghdad.
Now al-Sadr has the bulk of the Mahdi Army reined in so the US doesn’t disassemble him with a Hellfire and al-Qaeda has basically been disemboweled.
If one side in a war can’t stop the offensive operations of the other side and can’t mount successful offensive operations of similar scale, that side is going to lose the war eventually. It’s all a matter of time. The generals have been hinting at this with increasing frequency, and I believe it: by the time Petraeus goes back to Congress for his second report in March, Iraq will be so markedly different from what it is even now that the defeatists will be nowhere to be found.
(This Old House)
Bob: Hey Norm how is it going?
Norm: Well Bob, we missed the deadline by 5 years, we went 100 fold over budget, there’s no electricity or water, and a lot of our guys got killed.
Bob: That’s super Norm, really incredible. What do the neighbors think?
Norm: Oh, they’re dead, Bob. Or fled to Syria. But we’ve got a whole new crop in here that chased out the Al Qeada in Iraq and the rest of the Suunis.
Bob: Wow great job on the trim, Norm. It really matches the Iranian flags on every house.
Norm: Yep, we lucked out there. We got it on sale and the color matched perfectly. We saved nearly $15 on the job if you don’t count the declining dollar.
Bob: And if you did count the devaluation of the dollar?
Norm: We saved $17.50, no $18.65…, no $19.95…
Bob: Super Norm! Well, I gotta go.
Norm: Bob you got any gas to spare? There’s none in this province. The black market guys said they have so many dollars that they are using stacks of twenties for kindling, and I don’t have any dinars.
Bob: Sorry Norm, I’m actually running on biodeisel, byyyyyyee
As I said here, it’s a good thing that Gen. Petraeus didn’t pay attention to Reid & Pelosi. I suggest everyone just work hard to make Pelosi a one-term Speaker.
I noticed the other evening CNN reporting that the lower casualty rates are the result of ethnic cleansing that has already taken place throughout Iraqi neighborhoods and therefore this is the real reason for lower casualty numbers.
The media is attempting to also blame the US military as contributing to this ethnic cleansing in the untold number of deaths for Iraqi families. This will be the liberals and the drive by media’s way of explaining why we are now winning the war.
There’s also the fact that our tactics have shifted to – once again – a reliance on air power and bombing runs in order to keep our troop casualties low.
And you know that any uptick in violence in the next few months will be trumpeted by the Liberals and Left with “I told you so’s. The downturn was just a fluke”. Imagine, having people in your own country hoping for setbacks to gain political points. Sad and true.
Unsupported assertion, contradicted by every single eyewitness account of US strategy in Iraq since Petraeus was made MNF-Iraq commander in February.
They’re just chomping at the bit over at Time to declare that the war is still lost. Two events in Diyala Province are the supporting evidence. Never mind the sharp drops in violence everywhere, one successful suicide bombing and 20 headless bodies killed “recently” (who knows what that means) > the third straight month of US casualties decreasing 50% and Iraqi casualties continuing to decline as well.
>I noticed the other evening CNN reporting that
>the lower casualty rates are the result of ethnic
> cleansing that has already taken place throughout
> Iraqi neighborhoods and therefore this is the real
> reason for lower casualty numbers.
I heard in passing that half the Sunnis have fled Iraq. Many of these would be the Baathists that we fired, including the school teachers, physicians, and civil servants. That’ll leave the country in the hands of illiterate pro-Iranian Shiites who will want to put Iraq under Sharia law.
If our goal was to establish a colonial government, we should have backed the Sunni minority that could not hold power without our help. However, many Sunnis believed that they were actually the majority.
It is a fact, not an assertion, that we have turned to a much higher reliance on air bombing runs instead of troop engagement.
“The U.S. military has increased airstrikes in Iraq four-fold this year, reflecting a steep escalation in combat operations aimed at al-Qaeda and other militants.
Coalition forces launched 1,140 airstrikes in the first nine months of this year compared with 229 in all of last year, according to military statistics.”
I don’t think that the right-wing fully understands the depth of the problem in Iraq. It isn’t going to get better any time soon, even if the casualties have dropped somewhat, b/c there just isn’t an infrastructure present to support the form of government which we have installed there.
The endless corruption and complete waste of billions of dollars of reconstruction funds are a much bigger story then drops or rises in violence.
And I’m still forced to ask – what’s the endgame? The Iraqis have rejected the idea of permanent US bases; think that’s going to go over well? I certainly do not. Are we to leave a Shiite-majority state who will partner up with Iran? These questions are never addressed by the right wing, b/c the answers are difficult.
The reason that the number of air strikes are up is that optempo is up not because we are relying more on airpower. Airpower and artillery are always part of US military operations. The more operations the more use heavy firepower.
The indicator of success is not just American causalities but AQ attacks on civilians. Those also way down. AQ can no longer sustain offensive operations.
Despite your protestations to the contrary, you are hoping the US loses the war. Sorry for your disappointment. .
I’m willing to accept what you’ve said is true – but what is the endgame in Iraq?
I don’t believe that the vast majority of attacks on civilians have ever been carried out by ‘Al Qaeda’, but instead by the various ethnic groups present there. This makes logical sense as they far outnumber any sort of foreign fighters in the country. That problem most certainly isn’t going away any time soon.
“Coalition forces launched 1,140 airstrikes in the first nine months of this year compared with 229 in all of last year, according to military statistics.”
Say there, Eisenhower, do you suppose that has anything to do with the fact that we have close to 30,000 more troops in the Baghdad area? And we gave them radios?
Listen, we got it. You’re invested in defeat. We’re invested in victory.
I hope you lose.
Just like you hope we do.
See the difference?
I’m willing to be persuaded to your side, if you could
A) define victory for me, and
B) tell me how we are going to get there.
As Jerry points out, infantry always uses close air support, which accounts for the higher numbers. It’s been part of American military doctrine for years now. All those numbers prove is that the US has taken a more aggressive posture towards the terrorists — and interestingly, that produces less American casualties than hunkering down and playing defense.
I’m well aware of the utility of using air strikes to take out a building full of enemies instead of just running in there with troops who could get shot.
But the problem is – it doesn’t follow the COIN model. At all. Because airstrikes have this funny tendency to kill a lot of innocent civilians; which is against the goal of the counter-insurgency.
The doctrine portrays the decision to call in air strikes as one requiring heavy deliberation, as commanders must “weigh collateral damage against the unintended consequences of taking no action.” And when summoned, air attack must be based on “timely, accurate intelligence, precisely delivered weapons with a demonstrated low failure rate, appropriate yield, and proper fuse” to achieve the desired effects without blowing up anything unintentionally.
“Inappropriate or indiscriminate use of air strikes can erode popular support and fuel insurgent propaganda. For these reasons, commanders should consider the use of air strikes carefully during COIN operations,” the two ground generals wrote.”
If you take the time to read accounts written by Iraqis who have had family members blown up by our various bombs, you’d see what I mean.
It’s a sad fact that the most effective tactics, which kill the most enemies with the least possible loss of life for our troops, are in many cases counter-productive to our mission in Iraq. The failure of many Conservatives to realize this basic fact about our operations there gives the lie to the idea that there is any real understanding on their side of the nature of our challenge in Iraq: not just to end violence, but to get the Iraqis to like the US and work together with factions they don’t like. Dead civilians will set this back time and time again.
Your evidence doesn’t support your assertion cyclops, namely that an increase in air strikes means a drop in “troop engagement.”
Your assertions are just ridiculous. Petraeus’s entire strategy is more troop engagement. US troops three months engaged in the largest offensives in numbers of soldiers involved since the 2003 invasion. Tens of thousands of more soldiers than pre-surge are patrolling the streets and living in the Joint Security Stations. The number of foot patrols by both US and Iraqi soldiers has increased by nearly double in Baghdad alone compared to pre-surge numbers.
You’re lying, you need to retract your lie and apologize.
OK, I’ll post it for you because you guys have never been let in on our TOP SECRET plan for victory in Iraq. It goes something like this:
Offensively, keep hammering away at the bad guys (I know you’re unclear about who they are but trust me, the Army knows) while at the same time train IDF to take over more and more of the security mission. On the diplomatic side, support the Iraqi government on the painful process of establishing rule over a group of people who have never known anything but the boot.
Your problem is a time frame.
You don’t get one.
Live with it. I do.
Forgot to add a few more things, like how US soldiers are on the ground patrolling the streets living in JSSes in places like Baqubah and Arab Jabour and Ramadi and other places in Anbar and the Baghdad belts that, before the surge, hadn’t seen American forces – besides raids – for up to two years in spots like Arab Jabour.
Cycloptichorn’s assertion that there is less troop engagement is just patently false.
Also, do you know what constitutes an “airstrike”?
A single armed Kiowa moving in front of a group of Soldiers, firing into a ditch that is being used for cover by the bad guys can and does constitute an “airstrike”
Your side thinks it’s all about fire bombing Dresden.
There are bound to be two entirely different schools of thought regards what is “victory” depending on whether or not someone believes Saddam was involved in 911. If America was attacked by another country, we get to “take off the gloves” and bomb the entire other nation into rubble and demand unconditional surrender. If someone bombs another country into rubble unprovoked, that is genocide and a war crime. We have not bombed Iraq into rubble because they did not attack us. People that believe Iraq attacked us want us to bomb them into rubble.
The war we are not fighting is the war with Saudi Arabia. Strangely enough, many people on the “The Left” wouldn’t have a problem seeing it turned into molten slag because it’s the birth place of the 911 hijackers, OBL, the funding source for madrassas around the world, the source of Iraqi suicide bombers, and their financial backers. But that option is not on the table because it’s home away from home for home for the Texas oil crowd.
So “victory” in the Middle East would probably mean completely obliterating Saudi Arabia. Let them pack out their trunks of gold bars to provide for their retirement, but then bury the whole country. Funding for terrorism would pretty much vanish.
Your insults are immaterial and ignored; I have lied about nothing at all.
If the number of patrols have doubled, and the number of airstrikes have risen eight-fold, then there has been a heavy increase in the number of airstrikes which is not proportional to the number of patrols. Reliance on air power and bombing is being used to spare American troop lives; this isn’t a terrible thing from the perspective of the US troop but probably doesn’t help us progress towards our goal.
Your lack of specifics would be maddening if it wasn’t so predictable. I will not sit by silently without a time-frame, as I am uninterested in paying 2 billion a week with no end in sight. For a bunch of supposed ‘Fiscal Conservatives’ there has been absolutely no attempt whatsoever to limit the cost of this engagement; this is irresponsible in the extreme and intolerable.
The IDF, by the way, is the commonly-used acronym for the Israeli Defense Force; the Iraqi Army is usually referred to as the IA and I’ve never seen anyone write ‘IDF’ before referring to them.
I understand that many here are unwilling to compromise on the war issue, probably in many cases due to their deep personal and emotional investment in ‘winning’; the concept of being on the ‘losing side’ is intolerable to the psyche of many here. That’s fine with me. I would prefer to see US involvement in Iraq end sooner rather then later, but if it has to happen, then we will simply wait to unseat your representatives in the Senate and House of Representatives, capture the WH, and then end the war without interference from the right wing. While this isn’t the best scenario available, it will do.
IDF is a commonly used acronym for the Iraqi Defense Forces and is often found on intel breifings as such.
“then we will simply wait to unseat your representatives in the Senate and House of Representatives, capture the WH, and then end the war without interference from the right wing. While this isn’t the best scenario available, it will do.”
Here’s some cold water for you: Your guys already control both houses. If they really wanted to stop this war
a) they wouldn’t have voted for it.
b) now that they control the purse strings they could choose not to fund it.
and c) worst case scenerio:Billary becomes president and your guys STILL won’t stop the war there. Only, who will they blame then?
I doubt that this –
IDF is a commonly used acronym for the Iraqi Defense Forces and is often found on intel breifings as such.
is true, and am forced to say that it’s an unsupported assertion on your part.
I’d be more interested in seeing your response to the more interesting issue of the lack of fiscal responsibility when it comes to warfare, and also the disproportionate increase in bombing as compared to actual combat patrols.
It is farcical at best to say that the Dems ‘control’ the Senate. They literally have the smallest majority that is possible to have, and still be counted as the majority party. So I find your criticisms of the current lack of action to be rather uncompelling.
Additionally, ending the war through ‘defunding’ is pretty much the messiest and least productive way to do so, not to mention the most politically dangerous way to do so.
If Hillary becomes president and won’t end the war, then I will blame her and the Dem leadership in the House and Senate. If she proves to be intransigent on the subject, I would work to have her impeached. How hard is that to understand?
I’m a 70H. Google it. Pay special attention to the “intelligence” portion of the description.
Intel briefs: got and gave almost every day for a year in Iraq. IDF all over them. NOBODY was claiming that Israeli Security Forces were manning checkpoints or going on raids with our guys.
And you’re still lying.
This is not what you previously claimed. You previously claimed less troop engagement; now you are saying that the rise in air strikes is disproportionately larger than the rise in foot patrols.
This is simply incompetent arguing from an incompetent mind. First, it assumes that there should be a 1:1 ratio of foot patrols to air strikes; apparently it never entered your mind that a single foot patrol might have to call in multiple air strikes during the course of a day. Second, it doesn’t take into account the large offensive operations that took place in late June through early August in the “Baghdad Belts” south and north of the city and in Diyala Province to the east that saw use of large numbers of air strikes against insurgent-controlled territory as US forces moved into it.
Third, your argument falls entirely apart on the assertion that more air strikes probably isn’t helping us get towards our goals. Air strikes were used most frequently in the June-August offensives into Diyala, Arab Jabour, and other places. According to you, these air strikes should have made it harder for the US to accomplish its objectives in these areas. As the results from the aforementioned areas have shown, the opposite is the case. Local citizens jumped at the chance to make sure al-Qaeda wouldn’t come back once we came in and either killed/captured them or forced them to flee / go underground.
Blah blah blah; you didn’t reply to any of the substance of what Swede said. Your ad hominems are so badly constructed as to be pitiable. Your arguments in general are so badly logically constructed that your arrogance is mystifying. Supporting war spending has no bearing on whether one is properly “fiscally conservative” enough unless you can make the argument that the investment is not worth it, which you have been uniformly unable to do. Probably thanks to your inability to argue logically.
There is no evidence or reasoning behind the assertion that failing to “limit” spending on the war is irresponsible and intolerable; war strategy is made to win the war, not satisfy your unreasonable, faux standards of how fiscally conservative the government should be at war-fighting.
No one cares how you will sit, silently or not; you have shown yourself repeatedly to have a tenuous grasp, at best, on the facts, and on how to reason intelligently and draw conclusions from that reasoning.
The last paragraph, we see again, is the typical liberal hubris that will be so delicious when they crash and burn in 2008. People like Cycloptichorn are why Democrats either fail or ridiculously underperform in elections; 2006 should have seen a veto-proof Dem majority in both chambers. God knows the Republicans deserved it. Instead we have the most incompetent House and Senate Majority leadership perhaps in history, perhaps the most unaccomplished Congress in history, a Congress where Democratic approval ratings are now beginning to sink to meet the still-depressed Republican ones, a Democratic Party where a Massachusetts district that went 57% for John Kerry only elected a Democrat in a special election 51% to 45%.
Cycloptichorn’s arguments, if they can be called that, are based entirely on how well he can convey the image of a sneer and how successfully he can massage facts to support his laughable opinions. In three months cycloptichorn will be rambling about how the continuing decrease in casualties in Iraq means that we should bring the troops home faster than we should. The facts don’t matter to cycloptichorn. Violence goes up, bring the troops home. Violence stays the same, bring the troops home. Violence goes down, bring the troops home. This kind of inflexible idiocy was described quite aptly by the Politico as being the reason that the Democrats have failed so spectacularly in all of their major legislative drives. Cycloptichorn talks of compromise, by which he means acquiesce to his policy positions in full. By spring he will be the one in the position of having to acquiesce or face the prospect of electoral disaster.
“I’d be more interested in seeing your response to the more interesting issue of the lack of fiscal responsibility when it comes to warfare, and also the disproportionate increase in bombing as compared to actual combat patrols.”
You’re right, we don’t fight war on the cheap. You caught us! And where do you get an increased # of “bombing” as compared to actual combat patrols?
“It is farcical at best to say that the Dems ‘control’ the Senate. They literally have the smallest majority that is possible to have, and still be counted as the majority party. So I find your criticisms of the current lack of action to be rather uncompelling.
Additionally, ending the war through ‘defunding’ is pretty much the messiest and least productive way to do so, not to mention the most politically dangerous way to do so.”
The Dems control it. I’m sorry you’re unhappy with the percentage.
However, they do. And while it might be “messy”, I guess they don’t have the courage of their “convictions” to put a stop to this war.
And yet, they could. But they choose not to. I wonder why that is?
I’m a joint chief of staff. Google it.
On the interwebs, nobody is anything; it’s probably best to keep your ‘credentials,’ which you either cannot or will not prove, to yourself; they are immaterial to the overall discussion.
I never claimed that the IDF was conducting operations in Iraq, nor that you claimed this; only that you are using a term which is not generally used to describe what you are attempting to describe. If that’s the lingo that you are used to using, great; it isn’t useful amongst those who aren’t privy to ‘intel briefings,’ lol
“The endless corruption and complete waste of billions of dollars of reconstruction funds are a much bigger story then drops or rises in violence.”
Cyclo are you talking about Iraq or New Orleans? Seems there is some movement down south to replace the incompetent, corrupt Dems as there will be come 08 in the U.S. House and Senate.
Is cold cash Jefferson still in office? Hows’ the dem “smarter war” strategy working out with the American people, oh, and the raise every tax possible that’s a good one also.
Dems lied their way into office to the try to surrender at any cost and will pay the price in the future.
“I’m a joint chief of staff. Google it.
On the interwebs, nobody is anything; it’s probably best to keep your ‘credentials,’ which you either cannot or will not prove, to yourself; they are immaterial to the overall discussion.”
Translation: I looked it up and maybe this guys knows what he’s talking about. Now I look like an ass. Again.
Rambling incoherence and casting of aspersions on people you don’t know a thing about is unbecoming. You have gone on at length about my desires and motivations, when in fact you have zero evidence attesting to either.
You are specifically lying, Chaos, not I.
“You previously claimed less troop engagement; now you are saying that the rise in air strikes is disproportionately larger than the rise in foot patrols.”
I never claimed any such thing. In fact, my original post in this thread:
“There’s also the fact that our tactics have shifted to – once again – a reliance on air power and bombing runs in order to keep our troop casualties low.”
I never said a word about ‘less troop engagement.’
Look, I am really uninterested in getting into a pissing match with either of you on this subject. The fact remains that we could be having this same conversation at any point over the last 4-5 years, and you bunch would still have been wrong, even as you made the exact same points. I am unconcerned with any of the prognostications about the future made by your side, as you have consistently been proven wrong when it comes to success in Iraq. I have little doubt that the next year will bring no major changes in the area – unless Bush opens up a fight with Iran, an equally unwise move but one which seems more likely with each passing month.
Swede, during WW2 – the war which Conservatives love to make comparisons to – there were strict controls and investigations by the Senate and House in order to ensure that war profiteering didn’t go on. It has nothing to do with fighting the war ‘on the cheap’ and everything to do with making sure the money you do spend, gets utilized instead of wasted. The complete disinterest that is shown on this topic by the Right wing gives the lie to the idea that they are fiscally responsible in any fashion whatsoever. Most Americans are not willing to commit a huge amount of money to a war in which there will not be even the slightest of attempts to ensure that costs are either controlled or properly utilized.
I would be more willing to be supportive of war financing if there were greater controls placed upon the money once it is appropriated; surely you realize that this is an inherently Conservative position.
Unable to reply substantively, cycloptichorn reaches into his grab bag of logical fallacies and pulls out that old favorite, appeal to ridicule.
Of course, it is nonsensical (typical for cycloptichorn) to claim that someone’s credentials are irrelevant in a discussion that those credentials are directly involved with. Swede has been around here for a while; if he was lying about himself he would be found out and no one here would listen to him anymore.
70H is the military occupational specialty designation for “Plans, Operations, Intelligence Training, and Security” in the Medical Department Branches. If you don’t believe Swede, then start asking him questions that he won’t be able to answer effectively if he’s lying.
For example, in this link here:
We see MNF-Iraq label Iraqi forces as the “Iraqi Defense Forces,” so it’s not unreasonable to say that they are sometimes referred to that way as opposed to ISF or IA or INP or whatever.
I agree with you that Jefferson and others on the Dem side (such as Murtha) need to go. It is a major source of frustration for many on the left that the Dem leadership is unwilling to significantly take on corruption within our own party.
If only, IF ONLY, there was some way the Dems, who still control the purse strings by the way, could come up with some way to see how that money was spent and could investigate if they had to.
That’s a real head scratcher.
Can anybody help out on this? Does anybody know of a way the Dems can follow that money? You know, the money they approve of every time? That money.
But they want the war to end.
You said “..shifted to – once again – a reliance on air power and bombing runs…, “…much higher reliance on air bombing runs instead of troop engagement”
From the Usatoday article you so gleefully cite:
“In Iraq, the temporary increase of 30,000 U.S. troops ordered by President Bush in January has led to the increase in bombing missions. The U.S. command has moved forces off large bases and into neighborhoods and has launched several large offensives aimed at al-Qaeda.
“You end up having that many more opportunities for close air support,” said Air Force Brig. Gen. Stephen Mueller, director of the Combined Air Operations Center.
More precise targeting and smaller bombs have made it easier for the Air Force to support ground troops in counterinsurgencies, such as those in Afghanistan and Iraq.”
Notice that last sentence. Why don’t we repeat the money phrase in that last sentence together slowly :”easier…for…the…Air…Force…to…support… ground…troops…in counterinsurgencies…” Yes that’s right this is part of the COIN strategy. You know its not all about ‘Nam and carpet-bombing.
You really should read the whole article if you are going to cite it.
Your denials are hilariously unconvincing.
That’s pretty funny, but I think that you realize the Dems face active and fierce opposition in their attempts to do so from their Republican counterparts, and also from the President, who is more then willing to veto any bill which restricts him or the DoD in any way; and then blame the Dems publicly for not ‘supporting the troops.’ The latter phrase is depressingly effective, as the vast majority of citizens do not have the time to research these subjects past the thirty-second news sound-byte.
Another tired old liberal trope: if only the people would take the time to get educated, they’d agree with me!
There is never an internal explanation for why liberal arguments fail; it is always the fault of everyone else for “not understanding” or “not caring” or some other personal fault. The foundation for this conclusion is nothing other than disagreement with the liberal argument.
Chaos, you are still incorrect, and it is becoming foolish.
The fact that we are performing more foot patrols does not mean that those troops are engaging the enemy directly. The fact that our airstrikes have gone up by a factor of at least 8, while by your assertion foot patrols have ‘doubled,’ gives validity to my factual point: we are relying more on air bombing runs then we were previously, and that this is responsible in part for the decline in US casualties. When the number of patrols doubles and the number of airstrikes more then doubles, we are relying more on airstrikes then before. This isn’t a difficult concept to figure out.
The rest of what you’ve written is little more then empty rhetoric, really.
I would specifically ask you (any of ya): would you personally support Congress having oversight roles in order to ensure that monies appropriated are spent wisely and not wasted on corruption or ineffective usage? I would model this after the ww2 commissions which did exactly this.
My guess is that you would not; b/c you don’t really care about the wasted money when it comes to warfare. Right?
“The latter phrase is depressingly effective, as the vast majority of citizens do not have the time to research these subjects past the thirty-second news sound-byte.”
Oh, I know. Those lazy voters.
“That’s pretty funny, but I think that you realize the Dems face active and fierce opposition in their attempts to do so from their Republican counterparts, and also from the President, who is more then willing to veto any bill which restricts him or the DoD in any way.”
So, apparently, stopping the war is only worth doing if it’s easy and won’t get them labeled for what they are.
“and then blame the Dems publicly for not ‘supporting the troops.'”
They don’t. They claim they do. And how do they support the troops? Is it by getting behind the efforts that the troops are making? Nope. Is it by bringing them home (they can do it, but it’s hard)? Nope.
So how do they support the troops?
I mean, other that get on the Senate floor and claim the war is lost? Or compare them to Nazis?
So you would work to impeach President Hillary Clinton if she decided it was not it America’s best interest to lose a war against AQ.
Totalitarians crimminalize political opposition and by asserting that a failure of Ms. Clinton to carry out your wishes you demonstrate that you have a strong totalitarian impulse. No wonder you wouldn’t mind an AQ takeover of Iraq and Afghanistan.
I don’t disagree with you that the current crop of Dems hasn’t done enough to stop the war. I personally would support defunding, though I can see why the politicians don’t: it opens them up to phrases like this:
“So, apparently, stopping the war is only worth doing if it’s easy and won’t get them labeled for what they are.”
You don’t believe that the Dems in Congress could want to end the war b/c they believe it’s a wrong or immoral thing to do; otherwise you would agree that defunding would be their constitutional right and support them excersing their right, even though you don’t agree with it. Instead, it provides you with an opening to accuse them of being traitors and cowards – which is apparently what you believe.
It would be foolish, politically, for the Dems to do this; so they don’t. I find it personally repulsive but I understand their position.
“You don’t believe that the Dems in Congress could want to end the war b/c they believe it’s a wrong or immoral thing to do; otherwise you would agree that defunding would be their constitutional right and support them excersing their right, even though you don’t agree with it. Instead, it provides you with an opening to accuse them of being traitors and cowards – which is apparently what you believe.”
Courage, meet Conviction.
Oops, where did Courage go?
Or maybe it was conviction.
Maybe we should give them a free pass; you know, let them shout about how the war should end, but then not do anything about it.
Traitors and cowards. Sums it up nicely.
What a shame that we don’t have General Cyclops in charge in Iraq instead of that idiot Betray-us, who clearly has no idea what he’s doing.
Also, whether I agree or not doesn’t change the fact that they have the authority to defund the war.
The fact that they choose to fund it, but condemn it at the same time, leaves people like you in interesting pretzel shapes.
And who doesn’t like pretzels?
Part of the federal governments job is to protect it’s citizens. That’s what our armed forces are doing right now in Iraq and Afghanistan. They are going after AQ and AQI. What true fiscal conservatives get upset about is unnecessary spending. Spending money on things that the federal government has no business spending money on. Things like museums honoring hippie love fests, or no child left behind.
Cycloptichorn: I would specifically ask you (any of ya): would you personally support Congress having oversight roles in order to ensure that monies appropriated are spent wisely and not wasted on corruption or ineffective usage?
Good grief, man. Congress cannot even assume this responsibility with its own appropriations for pork projects.
BTW My understanding of the Petraeus model is that infrastructure monies are being dispensed locally, no longer through Baghdad and its potential for corruption. The thinking is that cooperating local sheiks and leaders know the needs of their own villages/neighborhoods and have a vested interest in rebuilding and protecting them. In addition, the locals are the ones hired so that unrest among the unemployed is deterred.
In 16 months in Iraq the only context I ever heard IDF used was in reference to in-direct fire, i.e. mortars or incoming.
Speaking of Google searches, do one on the transfer of the Karbala province and see how much the media covered it.
The fact that we are performing more foot patrols does not mean that those troops are engaging the enemy directly.”
You may be correct, but it DOES mean that more allied troops are placing themselves in danger yet the casualty count keeps decreasing despite that increased exposure.
You can claim that the reduction in troop casualties are do to an increase in combat air support (what you like to call “bombing runs”), and you would probably be correct as combat air support is a valid tacit which reduces the enemies ability to engage our troops in combat. It’s very difficult to shoot at our troops when an Apache Gunship is firing a couple hundred rounds into your firing position from a thousand yards away or that Hellfire missile it just fired destroys you and the apartment you are using as cover to attack our troops. Combat air support is a good tactic which reduces the number of allied causalities, including civilians as most civilians run away from the terrorists hiding in the apartment or house next door and firing at our troops.
You have stated that an increase in combat air support will lead to an increase in civilian casualties yet has been no evidence of any increase in civilian casualties due to combat air support. As a matter of fact, the number of civilian are actually decreasing and not increasing as one would expect if your assertion is correct. That decrease in civilian casualties is because of the increased foot patrols, as you put it, which has increased our ability to refine targeting to just the enemy troops themselves and this will always reduce civilian casualties. It is because of the surge and the resulting increase of active combat patrols that an increase in combat air support will not equate to an increase in civilian deaths. It does lead to an increase in enemy troop casualties, which is the entire rationale behind the surge.
The surge is working. It has increased the effectiveness of our military, it has reduced the number of civilian and allied deaths, it has driven the enemy out of previously held territory, and it has allowed the Iraqi government to train and deploy their own troops into areas which are now becoming stable.
We are far closer to victory now than at any time throughout the last four years, yet some people seem to be insisting that we can not win and should pull all our troops out, post haste. Why would anyone want us to stop now and give up just when we are making such great advances? Just how moral would such a withdrawal be as it would allow the insurgents to regain lost territory and would most certainly lead to reprisal on the local communities which supported the US. How many innocent civilians are the “troops out now” supporters willing to abandon to the murder, chaos, and terror that would insure?
We get it. You were and are against the War in Iraq. You want the troops out now. Like I said, we get it. You’ve been saying it for months and months here.
So why don’t you just say that and spare us these ridiculous uninformed attempts at dissection of war strategies, tactics and results.
If you are operating under the mind set that if you “sneak up” on us with some tactical baloney to tempt others to confront you here and your aim is simply another thread to hijack with the same old “i hate this war” line, then it’s getting tiresome.
We know your position.
We need to maintain the pressure on both the terrorists and the Maliki government. Baghdad needs to start engaging the Sunnis and the Kurds and develop the structures and processes that will bind the nation together. Captain Ed
I think it more important to maintain pressure on the MSM and the Democrats. It is in the interests of the Maliki government for the pacification to continue and be successful. It is in the interests of the Democrats and the MSM for the pacification to fail. (This is why we have leftists, like the annoying thorn in the side Cyclops, in denial about the success of the Surge.)
Good work chaos, Swede and dhunter.
In 08, victory in Iraq will be undeniable. At that point leftists like cyclops will say it wasn’t worth it.
They will be careful to ignore that it included not only the establishment of a democracy in Iraq but the devastation of al Qaeda.
“Posted by Burford Holly | October 31, 2007 11:50 AM
There are bound to be two entirely different schools of thought regards what is “victory” depending on whether or not someone believes Saddam was involved in 911.”
Who ever said that Saddam was involved with 9/11?
No one that I know of.
N. O’Brain says:
“Who ever said that Saddam was involved with 9/11?
No one that I know of.”
Actually, it was the Clinton Administration that claimed 3 years before 9/11 that Saddam and al Qaeda were working together. Read the Justice Department’s 1998 indictment of bin Laden.
And stranger than truth, a Clinton-appointed Federal Judge in Manhattan, in 2003, said Iraq WAS involved in 9/11. He said the evidence was scant, but ruled that in his opinion a jury would agree with him.
A thought. Why should any special pressure be applied to the Maliki government? They don’t run much anyway. The people who count are the local sheikhs, as has been demonstrated by the recent improvements in Iraq, and we’re working with them already. I would guess that the lack of progress with Maliki and co. shows a canny understanding of who holds the power in the Iraqi culture, not an inability or unwillingness to make political progress. That’s a positive sign to me.
I’m willing to be persuaded to your side, if you could
A) define victory for me, and
B) tell me how we are going to get there.”
Sorry no fancy html)
What are your answers?
I guess I should post answers if I’m going to ask them of others.
I think we “win” if potential terrorists see terrorism as less beneficial than civilized behavior.
I think victory in Iraq is an end state providing more benefit for the residents of Iraq and less threat to our country than the system in place under Saddam Insane.
I think a more productive/progressive Iraq will put internal pressure on repressive regimes in the Mid-East Region. (Iran, Syria, and their puppets in Lebanon and Gaza for instance) which should be a good thing in terms of human rights, human freedom, human opportunity and a reduction in threat of violence to us peace loving humans here in the USA.
I think the best way to get there from here is for us to continue using our resources and ingenuity, via our not quite perfect political system, to do what it takes to achieve that goal.
I think we may be on the right track now with the bottom up approach Petraeus has been implementing, rather than the top down approach we had been using.
I sure hope we win. Leaving now would be a bad thing for us, and a horrific thing for the Iraqis, judging by history.
The good news is, our system (unlike that of the bad guys) lets we the people pick the least bad option for governmental leadership.
I think the odds favor that we’ll get it less than wrong.
Please Vote. Our system needs your contribution.
“Because airstrikes have this funny tendency to kill a lot of innocent civilians; ”
Cycloptichorn 10:55 AM
In this case the number of airstikes has increased (according to Cycloptichorn) but the number of civilians killed has decreased. Please explain.
So far this year, 839 coalition soldiers have died in Iraq. Ten fewer than were killed in all of 2004, the year with the worst fatality tally so far.
Burford Holly: Yeah, that’s thanks to the beginning of this year, before the Awakenings and the surge. Since those have occurred, there has been a sustained drop in casualties every month in a manner that hasn’t yet been seen in the Iraq War. And this while the US is handing districts over to Iraq to control themselves.
>And this while the US is handing districts over
>to Iraq to control themselves.
Then they’ll be following us over here.
Chaos, you are still incorrect, and it is becoming foolish.
What comes next is one of the weakest arguments ever forwarded after such a strong opening assertion.
The fact that we are performing more foot patrols does not mean that those troops are engaging the enemy directly.
This is baseless conjecture. It is, again, completely disproved by accounts from Iraq.
The fact that our airstrikes have gone up by a factor of at least 8, while by your assertion foot patrols have ‘doubled,’ gives validity to my factual point: we are relying more on air bombing runs then we were previously, and that this is responsible in part for the decline in US casualties.
That was not your point, liar. Your point was that we were having less troop engagement. This is completely false. It was not your original point that increased air strikes meant less US casualties, it was that US troops were hiding in their bases and relying on air power.
Never mind that such a scenario is completely incompatible with the success of the surge and with the reality of every report from the ground in Iraq.
Since I smashed your point, you are now trying to change it. It still doesn’t work. You’re trying to say something different now but keep your conclusions the same. Your conclusions were invalid before, and they are invalid now. Increased amount of air strikes obviously has not been counterproductive.
I understand that Iraq Body Count, with the success of the surge, has begun, for the first time, telling us how many civilians the US has killed in a particular month, which it has never done before. Your dishonest arguments here are part of the some counteroffensive as the defeatists see their campaign unraveling.
When the number of patrols doubles and the number of airstrikes more then doubles, we are relying more on airstrikes then before. This isn’t a difficult concept to figure out.
That isn’t what you said originally, and as phrased right there, it isn’t an argument, it’s a simple statement of fact.
Your conclusions from it were, which you are now trying to imply since saying it straight out didn’t work the first time ’round:
1. US soldiers are engaging with the enemy less.
False. The facts are unequivocal.
2. This is counterproductive and will fail at helping the US meet its objectives.
False. The facts are, again, unequivocal.
US casualties are down while combat increased. Iraqi casualties are down while air strikes increased. What is going on? You can’t explain it, so you have to make hilarious assertions completely contradictory to the reality that anyone can discover after ten minutes of searching Google.
The rest of what you’ve written is little more then empty rhetoric, really.
Hilarious. When you say it it is merely you gazing into your crystal ball and seeing for a fact that in twelve months Democrats are going to have a massive victory, in contradiction to all the polls of an already tight and tightening race, but when I say the opposite, it’s just empty rhetoric.
You’re so pathetic it’s almost unfair to have me replying to you.
Burford Holly: Uh, lolwut?
Chaos: I assume you’re not arguing with yourself, so you should have Cycloptichorn in the first paragraph there. 😛
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