Friday, February 1, 2008
One thing no one's mentioned about the improved casualty figures out of Iraq is that they seem to have flatlined at just about the level they were at in 2005. In other words, they've gone down dramatically from their peak, but have held steady for the past three months at about four to five hundred deaths a month. Even if we assume for argument's sake that the security gains aren't lost once the Surge is drawn down, it seems like a stretch to imagine that there will be continued improvement with fewer troops on the ground. Which means we're stuck with this level of violence for the time being. And that doesn't strike me as particularly good news.