Saturday, January 2, 2010

No News is ... Good News?

The US lost no soldiers/marines lives to casualties in Iraq last month.  This is a first.  So, what does this tell us?  That Iraq is stable or that the US forces are no longer getting involved?
Combat fatalities have decreased significantly since June, when the United States started withdrawing troops from Baghdad, Iraq's capital, and other urban areas.
This would suggest that it is not so much about stability but about what Americans are doing and where.  But:

Casualties also have decreased among Iraqis, with Interior Ministry officials reporting in late November that the civilian death toll fell that month to its lowest level since the 2003 U.S.-led invasion. 
These numbers suggest that it is not just about American withdrawal, but that violence overall is decreasing.  Again, this may be due to the various opponents waiting until the US gets far smaller on the ground or even departs.  It is hard to tell.  There are still violent acts, dramatic ones in fact, and the statistics given by the Iraqi government can be doubted. 

Still, a non-event should be and is getting some news--that there is less violence now, significantly less.  And that is good news.  Whether it remains this way is harder to tell.

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