Thursday, June 14, 2007

Reid: Surge Failed, Last Two Months Most Deadly For US Troops ... Too Bad He's Lying

6 comments

This is becoming very tiresome to correct Reid's incompetent statements about Iraq. For crying out loud ... the guy has gone on TV to talk about Iraq, and was unable to accurately tell everyone how long we've been there. If you don't even know how long we've been fighting ... maybe you should excuse yourself from the discussion.

Anyway, the Pentagon released its report titled "Measuring Stability and Security in Iraq." The news, anti-war crowd, and the Democrats have blatantly misled you all on what the report says.

Breitbart:

Top US congressional Democrats bluntly told President George W. Bush Wednesday that his Iraq troop "surge" policy was a failure.

Senate Majority leader Harry Reid and House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi challenged the president over Iraq by sending him a letter, ahead of a White House meeting later on Wednesday.

"As many had forseen, the escalation has failed to produce the intended results," the two leaders wrote.

"The increase in US forces has had little impact in curbing the violence or fostering political reconciliation.

Not so, but we'll get into the report in a bit.

The most notable quote from Reid's letter to the President is as follows:

"In fact, the last two months of the war were the deadliest to date for US troops."

This merits investigation because of what the troops have been saying about Baghdad recently.

So I waltzed over to icasualties.org. That's a site that tracks the coalition casualties in Iraq. As it turns out (no big surprise) Reid is wrong. May of 2007 was the third deadliest month for US troops in Iraq, and April of 2007 was the seventh. Here's the rundown of the top 7 deadliest months:

  1. Nov. 2004
  2. Apr. 2004
  3. May 2007
  4. Dec. 2006
  5. Jan. 2005
  6. Oct 2006
  7. Apr. 2007

As you can see ... the last two months have not been the deadliest. What Reid is doing is adding the two months together, and saying that there has never been a more deadly two month period. This is spin, and dishonest. To take two months and add them together is just a way to manipulate the numbers to play political football with our fallen. There have been three month periods that have been deadlier, but Reid won't bring that up.

It is also worth mentioning that the average daily number of US troop deaths last month was about 4 per day. This month that average so far is 2.6 per day ... A marked improvement that reflects the typical trends of insurgent offensives not lasting more than two months with intensity.

Gen. Petraeus immediately challenged Reid on his statements ... though not directly.

When Gen. David Petraeus drives through the streets of Iraq's capital, he sees "astonishing signs of normalcy" in half, perhaps two-thirds of Baghdad.

"I'm talking about professional soccer leagues with real grass field stadiums, several amusement parks — big ones, markets that are very vibrant," says Petraeus, commander of the roughly 150,000 U.S. troops in Iraq. The scenes provide a sign that the new strategy in Iraq is working, although many problems remain, he told USA TODAY in an interview Wednesday.

Much of what Gen. Petraeus said in that interview is presented clear as day in the report the Pentagon just released.

Of course, Reid decided to take the usual low road and verbally insult both Gen. Pace and Petraeus in an interview with liberal bloggers. Those comments were not reported by those given the interview.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid called Marine Gen. Peter Pace, the outgoing chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, "incompetent" during an interview Tuesday with a group of liberal bloggers, a comment that was never reported.

Reid made similar disparaging remarks about Army Gen. David Petraeus, the top U.S. commander in Iraq, said several sources familiar with the interview.

Reid is ok with misquoting Gen. Petraeus when it suits him, but then turns around and refuses to accept good news from the General while verbally attacking him.

So what is in the Pentagon's report about Iraq? Let's start with the link to the report so you can follow along with me. You can get the report from the DOD's website. As a side note ... I'd like to remind you that I get news feeds from the DOD updated several times a day on this site.

In Section 1—Stability and Security there are several of analysis about Iraq that are promising, and disheartening. They discuss the progress made in several areas, that progress is not ideal, most Iraqis want the nation to remain intact, and the influence of Iran and Syria in violence. The section is pretty boring, and is used mostly to outline the Iraqi government.

1.2 Economic Activity starts off with a promising sentence.

Several positive economic developments emerged during this reporting period, most notably the launch of the International Compact with Iraq, continued progress on reducing inflation, and a favorable IMF Standby Arrangement review.

The report also notes that Iraq's economy is expected to grow by 10%, and 7% outside of the oil sector. That's pretty positive growth for a country supposedly in a civil war.

The most intriguing part of the report is the section - 1.3 Security Environment. A section completely ignored by the media and Reid. Take a look at the following graph from the Pentagon's report about sectarian violence.


It could be my eyes playing tricks on me, but it looks like sectarian violence has improved since the beginning of the year. Why no props Reid?

You'll also notice the increase in weapons caches found. For those of you who don't know what that means ... it's progress.

The report also showed that the national hotline tips have drastically increased. This means that more Iraqis are helping the coalition track down the enemy.

The section concludes with confirming that Baghdad has experienced reduced violence because of the surge, and Anbar continues to have significant progress. It breaks down each region of Iraq in terms of the violence, and makes it clear that there has been an increase in violence in some relatively peaceful regions. Though nothing excessively concerning, and no where near the levels of Baghdad.

Section 1.4 Transferring Security Responsibility reports on the progress of turning the country over to Iraqi forces, and this is going very well. About a third of the country is under Iraqi control ... while most of the rest is partially ready for the transition to Iraqi forces. Only Anbar province is not ready for the Iraqis to take over.


The graphic below shows the areas of Iraq where the Iraqis are in the lead over American forces.


The Iraqi police have been getting glowing reviews in the past year from US forces, and the graphic below reflects the vast improvement in force size.


This graphic shows the Iraqi military, and how it has increasingly taken the lead in battle.


Not all of the report is glowing in its assessment of Iraq, but it shows significant improvement ... especially as a result of the surge so far. Reid and his cohorts chose to not mention any of that. Which is odd given that he's been clamoring for benchmarks to show marked improvement, and Iraqis taking the lead in the conflict. All of that was shown in the Pentagon's report only to be ignored by Reid. Not to mention that in spite of the progress that has been made ... Reid chose to verbally attack the generals who are responsible for that progress.

I would like to throw a couple of things out there. With Iraqi forces increasingly taking the lead in Iraq, the surge effort, the insurgent offensive launched last September, and Iran's increasing interference ... you will have more enemy contacts which will result in more casualties for the time being. The insurgents are now having to leave Baghdad because of surge efforts, and the population turning against them. That's why we are seeing an increase in activity outside of Baghdad now where we haven't before.

We also must acknowledge that the Iraqi forces are not as good as ours, and there will be collateral damage because of that. The insurgents may be more likely to come out into the open to confront Iraqis while US forces are playing wingman.

Comments

6 comments to "Reid: Surge Failed, Last Two Months Most Deadly For US Troops ... Too Bad He's Lying"

Mark said...
8:33 AM

Excellent work. Unfortunately that the MSM robots won't provide us with this information.

Anonymous said...
10:01 AM

Wow, when you speak of INCOMPETENT statments about IRAQ, you can't forget the the Decider. Of course when you start talking about incompetence and the Decider, you better have alot of time on your hands, the list is long. Sad.

Anonymous said...
11:24 AM

Harry Reid is a traitor.

Casey said...
11:43 AM

Thanks for the compliments guys ... glad you liked it.

Thad said...
7:37 PM

You know, a grasp of the facts would be great once in a while, especially since a tape of the Reid conversation has been released, and completely refutes much of what you wrote.

Reid did not talk about Gen. Petraeus on this call. He said that he had told Gen. Pace to his face that he was a yes-man and incompetent.

Forgive many of us (say, almost 70% of the nation) for being pessimistic, but the idea that more sectarian violence means we are winning is the height of Orwellian language. The second Golden Mosque bombing once again exposed the role of infiltrators into the Iraqi police and military. We will never be able to hand over control as long as this crap goes on, and we do not have the resources to stay there forever. All the military people in charge of manpower say we are on the verge of breaking. A Pentagon report released tonight says that strong mental health problems are affecting over a third of the soldiers returning from Iraq, and they have been losing mental healthcare professionals.

The only tangible proof we have is that a lot of people have died and are fleeing the country because the Iraqis themselves think they're in a civil war, except for our buddies in their government. We are well on our way to four thousand dead, with no end in sight to this. The surge won't work because it's not enough. It's like going down five touchdowns by halftime and trying to come back. The chances of success are enormously against you, and at some point, the clock runs out on you.

Right now, the clock is running out, because our ability to fight this war and defend our own shores is growing perilously short. And let us remember once again that the president let a clearly incompetent man run the war for almost four years when after one it was clear he didn't know what he was doing. In 2004, a "surge" had a chance of working. Now, we're just throwing away more of our soldiers' lives for no gain. BTW, that's not just me, that's a professor of national security affairs at the U.S. Naval War College, Christopher Fettweis, saying that. I'll leave you with his words.

"The endgame in Iraq is now clear. We ought to start coming to grips with the meaning of losing in Iraq.

Were our founding fathers here, they would surely look on Iraq with horror and judge that the nation they created had fundamentally lost its way. If the war in Iraq leads the United States to return to its traditional, restrained grand strategy, then perhaps the whole experience will not have been in vain.

The American people seem to understand, however -- and historians will certainly agree -- that the war itself was a catastrophic mistake. It was a faulty grand strategy, not poor implementation.

Once support for a war is lost, it is gone for good; there is no example of a modern democracy having changed its mind once it turned against a war. So we ought to start coming to grips with the meaning of losing in Iraq."

Casey said...
4:15 PM

A tape confirming that Reid called Pace incompetent doesn't refute what I wrote ... it confirms it. The report doesn't show an increase in sectarian violence ... it shows a decrease. It also shows an improvement in all aspects of Iraq situation. Too bad you and Reid can't take a simple minute out of your day to read a measly 50 page report.

By the way 70% of the US is not pessimistic. They would like to see more progress than has been made. Of that, we all agree. Every poll done shows the vast majority of Americans what to succeed in Iraq. The polls also show what the military has been saying all along ... that the media is dead wrong in its portrayal of the conflict.

It was a nice try at presenting yourself as "enlightened" though.

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