Keep Your Fingers Crossed
U.S. casualty figures for the month of October 2007 are approaching pre-insurgency levels; that is they are down to the numbers that were reported for the spring and early summer of 2003.
As of October 24th, deaths among U.S. military personnel stood at 31, including 3 soldiers who didn’t die in Iraq (1 died in the UAE, 2 in Bahrain) and 4 non-combat related deaths.
There have been dips in the casualty rates in the past: February 2004 (19), March 2005 (36), and March 2006 (33). But I believe that whereas these previous dips reflected complex variables specific to the combat conditions in Iraq at the time, today’s decreasing numbers reflect the collapse of the Sunni and Shiite insurgencies—foretold by yours truly.
The reason I believe this is due to confidential access I have to the 'correct' figures for Iraqi military and police casualty rates—they too are way down.
Let’s hope that things remain constant for the next week to come. While it is tragic to lose a life in any circumstance, especially a youthful one, the media has turned casualty rates into the bellwether of how the war in Iraq is going. Let’s see how they explain away this most recent decrease, but I think that they are likely to ignore these new numbers rather than retract the smug “Iraq is over” editorials they penned six months ago.