Is The Surge Working?

Ken AshfordIraqLeave a Comment


Violence Metrics




Iraqi Military and Police Killed



Up 23%

Multiple Fatality Bombings



Down 25%

# Killed in Mult. Fatality Bombings



Up 19%

Iraqi Civilians Killed
(All violent causes)



Hard to say1

U.S. Troop Fatalities



Up 80%

U.S. Troops Wounded



Up 45%

Size of Insurgency



Up ~250%

Attacks on Oil and Gas Pipelines



Up 75%

1Methodology changed dramatically between 2006 and 2007, so numbers are highly suspect.
2Number is for March 2007.
3Numbers are for June only. No July numbers are available.

Infrastructure Metrics




Diesel Fuel Available

26.7 Ml

20.7 Ml

Down 22%

Kerosene Available

7.08 Ml

6.3 Ml

Down 11%

Gasoline Available

29.4 Ml

22.2 Ml

Down 24%

LPG Available

4,936 tons

4,932 tons

Down 0.1%

Electricity Generated

8,800 Mwatts

8,420 Mwatts

Down 4%

Hours Electricity Per Day



Down ~14%

4No numbers available for June/July. Figure is extrapolated from May and August numbers.

This was compiled by Kevin Drum, using statistics from the Brookings Institute.  While many will point out that killings and violence has gone down since the surge began, it is important to understand that violence in Iraq always goes down in summer.  Thus, Kevin does a seasonal comparison, so we can look at apples-to-apples.

Finally, these charts only show the military prong of our efforts in Iraq.  The political prong isn’t even debated by Bush supporters — everyone knows that is an abyssmal failure.

UPDATE:  And there’s more good news about the surge:

The number of Iraqis fleeing their homes has soared since the American troop increase began in February, according to data from two humanitarian groups, accelerating the partition of the country into sectarian enclaves.

Despite some evidence that the troop buildup has improved security in certain areas, sectarian violence continues and American-led operations have brought new fighting, driving fearful Iraqis from their homes at much higher rates than before the tens of thousands of additional troops arrived, the studies show.

WATCH THIS STORY:  Turning to the political end of the spectrum, it’s clear that Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki simply is failing at keeping his government together.  This fact is virtually undisputed by everyone from the Bush Adminstration to the Daily Kos kids.

But now comes word that al-Maliki’s rival, the guy who was interim Prime Minister of Iraq in 2004, Ayad Allawi, has retained a Washington D.C. lobbying firm, and bought the Web domain rights to  The Washington lobbying firm, Barbour, Griffith, and Rogers (BGR), is a Republican outfit, full of Bush people — including its president: Robert Blackwill, the one-time White House point man on Iraq and who was once the U.S. Presidential Envoy to Iraq in 2004.

Furthermore, it looks like Allawi is getting some advice (and more) from the Bush Administration:

[A]dministration officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said the prime minister was coached and aided by the U.S. government, its allies and friends of the administration. Among them was Dan Senor, former spokesman for the CPA who has more recently represented the Bush campaign in media appearances. Senor, who has denied writing the speech, sent Allawi recommended phrases. He also helped Allawi rehearse in New York last

Does this mean that the White House is attempting to undermine al-Maliki?  The White House denied it today, but all of the foregoing suggest otherwise.

If it is true, and I suspect it is, I find it extremely ironic.  Here we are trying to bring democracy to Iraq, and we’re already meddling in their politics by trying to oust their democratically-elected leader.

P.S.  Allawi, by the way, might not be a good guy.  He’s been described as "Saddam Lite":

In late June, just before he took office as Iraq’s prime minister, Iyad Allawi lined up six prisoners in a Baghdad prison and executed them with a handgun while 30 people watched. So an Australian reporter claims, though he won’t reveal his two eyewitnesses. Another story making the rounds in Baghdad: Allawi had two insurgents shot in front of him. And then there’s the rumor that he chopped off a guy’s hand. Iraq’s new boss denies all these allegations to the press, but who cares?

My spideysense tells me we’ll be dealing with this guy in 20 years….