Magazine article Editor & Publisher

U.S. Says Violence in Iraq Down to 2005 Levels -- but Remember What 2005 Was Like?

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

U.S. Says Violence in Iraq Down to 2005 Levels -- but Remember What 2005 Was Like?

Article excerpt

The argument emerging from the Pentagon and U.S. military officials, including Gen. David Petraeus, for the past month is: Security is improving in Iraq, violence is down, it's like we're back in 2005 - not like terrible 2006 or awful first half of 2007.

Any drop in the killing is welcome, but what was 2005 in Iraq really like?

The Washington Post, citing Petraeus, noted last week that attacks in Iraq as of the end of November had declined to a level not seen consistently since mid-2005. Iraqi civilian deaths are at their lowest level since the end of 2005, and November had the lowest number of U.S. troop deaths since 2005.

So what was 2005 like in Iraq? For starters, 846 American troops died that year, and nearly 6000 wounded. Iraq Security Forces lost over 2500 killed. In 2005 an average of 5.8 Iraqi civilians died per day in vehicle/explosions, and 25 per day in shootings/executions. Just taking those two categories gets to over 10,000 civilian deaths, according to Iraq Body Count, the authoritative site which offers lower-end numbers.

There were also 32 journalists killed. Hundreds of thousands of Iraqis fled their homeland. …

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