Monday, January 23, 2006

They're Just Numbers

Actually, to their families they are irreplaceable. - Attacks in Iraq jumped in 2005: "Insurgents are widening their attacks to include the expanding Iraqi forces engaged in the fighting, said Brig. Gen. Donald Alston, a coalition spokesman.

He added, 'It tells me the coalition and the Iraqi forces have been very aggressive in taking the fight to the enemy.'

The number of trained and equipped Iraqi security forces has grown to 227,000. They outnumber U.S. forces in Iraq. They are often more exposed and are taking a more visible role in fighting the insurgency.

'They're easier targets,' said Andrew Krepinevich, a counterinsurgency expert at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, a Washington-based defense think tank.

In 2005, 2,713 Iraqi police and military were killed, according to the Brookings Institute, a Washington-based think tank. Similar numbers for 2004 were not available, and Iraq's government has not released comprehensive casualty numbers for Iraqi security forces. Thousands of Iraqi civilians have also been killed, but no precise tally is available.

U.S. forces have become more effective at protecting against attacks. In 2004, 714 U.S. troops were killed in action and 673 last year, despite the increase in attacks. The number of wounded dropped 26%, from 7,990 to 5,939 during the same period.

The U.S. military attributes that to an increase in effectiveness in protecting its forces against roadside bombs and other attacks. Maj. Gen. William Webster said recently that 10% of the attacks against U.S. forces cause casualties, down from about 25%-30% a year ago."
I am so confused. If the Iraqi army has 227,000 trained troops, how can they have only one "trained" brigade? If we can spy on Americans at home, why can't we figure out how many Iraqi civilians have been killed? Can't someone just total up the numbers on the front pages and give us a rough estimate? Instead they get blown off every year, the civilians aren't that important, if they were they would have moved to another country by now.

When are we going to give up and come home? Because we are going to come home, eventually. Why not make it sooner rather than later?

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