Friday, August 31, 2007

Analysis: Fewer casualties may portend surge's success

While using casualty figures as a benchmark for the success of combat operations is fraught with risk, this former spook shows that recent trends are certaintly headed in the right direction. The risk of using casualty rates exists because, with casualty rates this low, a short period of high combat casualties can skew the numbers. A small change in a small number can make a big difference.

There are approximately 160,000 US troops in Iraq. With an August KIA total of less than 100, we are looking at one of the lowest casualty rates ever measured in the history of modern armed conflict. The combat casualty rates seen today rival the peacetime accidental death rate.