Up and Down Casualties in Iraq

A UN Report indicates civilian casualties in Baghdad have gone down since introduction of the Bush “surge,” but military casualties have risen. It also appears that civilian casualties outside of Baghdad have gone up. According to the report: “The situation in Iraq remains precarious. Insurgent attacks persist and civilian casualties continue to mount, where there was a lull in the level of sectarian violence early in the report period, it now appears that militia forces are resuming their activities, including targeted killings and kidnappings.”

This report could have been written six months or a year ago by anyone familiar with guerrilla warfare. It is amazing how little Bush officials have studied past insurgencies, and how scant in their grasp on the dynamics of what happens in urban guerrilla warfare. Was it the Bush assumption that insurgents would wait for the Americans and openly fight it out? They pursued classic hit and run tactics and they will continue in this manner until either one of the following occurs: a government assumes power that has overwhelming support of the population or the Iraq army gains the capability of decisive action. Until then, casualties will go up and down.