Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Reported the good now I have to report the bad

and this is exactly the reason I don't like body counts as a measure of success.

The latest numbers from icasualties.org show a rate of about 18.2 casualties a day among Iraqi civilians. Considerably higher than the previous two months. We have been pointing to casualty numbers to say the surge is working, do we now say "Oh My God, it's failing!"?

The upside here is 40 of the casualties being reported are suspect. Coalition Forces can't find any evidence of the 20 people reported killed when insurgents overran a Shi'a village on 12/1/07 (actually they can't find evidence the village was overrun) and the other 20 were from a mass grave in Fallujah. That would put the rate at 14.2 / day and on line for a monthly toll of 420. More in line with what we have been seeing.

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