We're not winning, are we? pt II
Get that camera away. Don't look at us, don't look at ussssss
Violence against Iraq troops takes toll
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By Robert Burns
Dec. 30, 2004 | Washington -- Key measures of the level of insurgent violence against American forces in Iraq, numbers of dead, wounded and insurgent attacks, show the situation has gotten worse since the summer.
While those numbers don't tell the full story of the conflict in Iraq, they suggest insurgents are growing more proficient, even as the size of the U.S. force increases and U.S. commanders succeed in soliciting more help from ordinary Iraqis.
-- The U.S. military suffered at least 348 deaths in Iraq over the final four months of the year, more than in any other similar period since the invasion in March 2003.
--The number of wounded surpassed 10,000, with more than a quarter injured in the last four months as direct combat, roadside bombs and suicide attacks escalated. When President Bush declared May 1, 2003, that major combat operations were over, the number wounded stood at just 542.
-- The number of attacks on U.S. and allied troops grew from an estimated 1,400 attacks in September to 1,600 in October and 1,950 in November. A year earlier, the attacks numbered 649 in September, 896 in October and 864 in November.
U.S. commanders insist they are making progress, in part by taking the fight more directly to the insurgents. And they remain hopeful that more U.S.-trained Iraqi security forces will join the fight soon.
Some observers are more doubtful.
"The prospects in Iraq are grim," Dan Goure, an analyst at the private Lexington Institute think tank in Washington, said Thursday. He assessed the conflict as a standoff, with no clear indication that either side will achieve victory in the coming year.
"Neither side can truly come to grips with the other so far and defeat them," Goure said.
It almost certainly is the highest KIA total for any year since the Vietnam War.
U.S. deaths averaged 62 per month through the first half of the year. But since June 28, when U.S. officials restored Iraqi sovereignty and dissolved the U.S. civilian occupation authority, that average has jumped to about 78.
On the brighter side, the U.S. military says ordinary Iraqis are beginning to speak up, making it easier for troops to uncover weapons caches and capture insurgents. That is true around Ramadi, the capital of Anbar province in western Iraq, according to the Marines.
"The atmospherics in and around Ramadi seem to show that the local populace is tired of the insurgents and their intimidation and violence," 1st Lt. Nathan Braden, spokesman for the 1st Marine Division, said in an e-mail exchange Wednesday
No, stupid, they're using the US to weed out rivals. They know those who rat out the resistance will be killed. We can't protect them. So guess who gets their cache found? The rivals.
I don't think it's a standoff when you can't use the roads. That's a big assed victory for the resistance. People need to say the US is losing and it's unlikely to win unless things change radically.
posted by Steve @ 1:22:00 PM