April 21, 2005

Behind The Headlines

I think everyone has a tendency to focus on the headlines when looking at Iraq:

Eleven die in Iraq helicopter crash

Here at Craigorian Chant we try and bring you more than headlines. Here's Steve Gillard with some in depth analysis complete with maps. Short version: The U.S. Army has not secured the county.

Iraq'd has more analysis:

But according to an internal Army study obtained by The Wall Street Journal, attacks haven't diminished: They've shifted to Iraqi targets, largely civilian. While the paper doesn't include many specifics, the Army report finds that in addition to targeting civilians, the insurgency is "staging increasingly sophisticated attacks on both Iraqi and U.S. forces," a contention that Washington Post reporters have been making for the past few weeks.

Now, the Army report doesn't dispute that attacks on U.S. troops are down since the election, which is fairly clear from a cursory look at the data. What it suggests is that the recent downward trend doesn't lead to the conclusion that the capabilities of the insurgency--the all-important, and sadly elusive, measurement--are down as well. (Which, um, was the conclusion I drew last month.) But what should we conclude?

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