Monday, September 03, 2007

August Statistics -- Briefly

U.S. fatalities: 81, up three from July. This brings total U.S. fatalities in Iraq through August 31 to 3,740. Fifty-five died from hostile fire.

On June 5, 2007, the Pentagon reported U.S. fatalities at 3,500. That number had jumped by 500 in just 5 months and one week (June 5). At the current pace -- the next 500 deaths will be recorded around the beginning of December, a full six months.

But conditions in Iraq make such a prediction risky, The British have just completed the turnover of Basra to the three Shi’a factions that have been battling for dominance for the last three years. All 5,500 UK troops are in the Basra airport catonment, but how long they will remain may well depend more on the Shi’as in Basra than on London or -- for that matter, on Washington.

And then there is Robert Papes exhaustive study of suicide bomb attacks world-wide over the past 25 years. Papes counts 870 completed attacks. Of these 824 -- 95% -- were mounted by groups fighting military occupation of their country. Morfeover, 85% of all attacks have been in response to U.S military combat operations.

Pape’s work is highly regarded by the Pentagon; they are paying him a consulting fee.

Yet the White House insists that the presence of U.S. forces has nothing to do with the level of violence in Iraq.

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