According to President Bush, his “surge” has produced dramatic reductions in the level of violence in Iraq and the number of dead people. However, recent figures released from the Iraq Body Count(IBC) which has extensive experience working in that country, concludes that violence outside of Baghdad actually rose until September. its figures recognize a significant drop in violence within the Baghdad area due to the presence of more American soldiers in the city. IBC states that between 22,586 and 24,159 civilians died in 2007, the majority being from the period of January through August. The number of civilian deaths involving US forces rose from between 544-623 in 2006 to between 868 to 1,326 in 2007. Most of these were linked to air strikes which led to the deaths of 88 children.
There is little question placing thousands of additional American soldiers within the Baghdad area has led to a reduction in violence. Of course, what no one knows is will violence zoom again once American troops leave or will it require the presence of those forces for a long term basis in order to ensure security within the Baghdad area? After all, militants are not stupid, why not lie low and wait for the Americans to depart?