Struggling on

Good news, relatively speaking: Civilian deaths in Iraq down 36 percent

At least 1,227 Iraqi civilians were killed in June along with 190 policemen and 31 soldiers, an officer at the Iraqi Interior Ministry’s operations room said. The officer spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to release the figures.

That represented a 36 percent drop from the ministry’s May figures — 1,949 civilian deaths along with 127 policemen and 47 soldiers.

June’s figures were the lowest monthly tally this year.

I must admit that I find it amazing that only 78 Iraqi troops have been killed over the past two months. Am I reading that right?

A big part of the reduction in civilian deaths? Half of Baghdad Secured

The battle of the year is being fought in Diyala, Baghdad is slowly being cleaned out and straightened up, and the fight is being taken to the bad guys in the belts surrounding the capital, particularly to the Al Qaeda in Iraq groups. If some US troops are accused of war crimes or we accidentally blow up a school or something, we’ll start hearing more about it in the press. Unless Paris Hilton goes back to jail.

Counterinsurgency is a long, dirty process. We stalled (or even backslid) in the second half of last year and are just getting our steam up as we retake the initiative.


  1. The real reason more progress is suddenly being made? 3rd ID is back in central Iraq. A key ingredient of COIN is having distinctive unit head gear. Long live the carpet squares. Rock of the Marne! ‘I wouldn’t give a bean to be a fancy pants marine….’ *all in good fun