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Archive: December 2006
Total of Iraqis Killed in 2006 awaiting tabulation by the UN
By ROBERT Y. PELTON 12/31/2006 4:32 PM ET
Over 30,000 Iraqis Killed in 2006?

The UN has estimated that 14,000 Iraqis were killed in the first half of this year. The final estimate was that 100 Iraqis die each day for a total of 35,500 killed this year. As we head into 2007 a number of groups are releasing their statistics.

The official death toll for US military in Iraq was set at 3002, 113 in the month of December alone.

The Iraqi Government estimates that 14,298 civilians, 1348 police and 627 soldiers were killed in 2006

3000 U.S. Troops Over 800 US soldiers died this year and 111 this month.

Myspace provides an sad digital memorial to a young 22 year old man who unwittingly went down as a famous statistic:

73 Contractors

64 Media Workers Killed (includes journalists and media workers)

32 Journalists killed

Full Report PDF
U.S. War College Paper: Another Strategy Option
12/29/2006 4:26 PM ET
In this new 135-page report, Dr. Steven Metz of the U.S. Army War College's Strategic Studies Institute critiques the U.S. military's counterinsurgency efforts and says the Department of Defense must develop a more effective way to defeat the insurgency. He says the best response to insurgency might not be traditional counterinsurgency. He argues that counterinsurgency should be replaced by "stabilization and transformation."

Click below for the full report.


Full Report PDF
In 58-page Report, U.S. G.A.O. Calls for Contractor Watchdog
12/19/2006 3:31 PM ET
The U.S. Government Accountability Office report's cover page reads: "High-Level DoD Action Needed to Address Long-standing Problems with Management and Oversight of Contractors Supporting Deployed Forces."

Here is a PDF of the full report.


Full Report PDF
International Crisis Group says ISG Proposals Weak
12/19/2006 3:21 PM ET
Here is a PDF of the full 44-page International Crisis Group report.


Full Report PDF
Iraq Study Group Urged End to Partial Tally of Iraq Violence
By EASON JORDAN 12/18/2006 11:29 PM ET
While saying the violence in Iraq is at an all-time high, the Pentagon's new quarterly Iraq report to Congress provides only a partial tally of attacks in that country -- a precedent set by the Pentagon's five previous quarterly Iraq reports to Congress.

The U.S. military's routine underreporting of attacks continues despite the Iraq Study Group's recommendation that the U.S. military halt its practice of providing incomplete tallies.

The Iraq Study Group in its report called on U.S. military and intelligence chiefs to "institute immediate changes in the collection of data about violence and the sources of violence to provide a more accurate picture of events on the ground."

But the Pentagon's "Measuring Stability and Security in Iraq" report released today showed the partial tally practice continues, presenting a skewed assessment of the violence.

On page three of the quarterly Iraq report released by the Pentagon, under a heading entitled "The Security Environment," this is written:

In the past three months, the total number of attacks increased 22%. Some of this increase is attributable to a seasonal spike in violence during Ramadan. Coalition forces remained the target of the majority of the attacks (68%), but the overwhelming majority of casualties were suffered by Iraqis.

Eighteen pages later in the Pentagon report, under a heading labeled "Attack Trends and Violence," the term "attacks" is qualified:

For this report, the term "attacks" refers to specific incidents reported in the Multi-National Corps-Iraq (MNC-I) Significant Activities Database. It includes known attacks on Coalition forces, the ISF, the civilian population, and the infrastructure. Attacks typically consist of improvised explosive devides (IEDs), small arms fire, and indirect fire weapons.

The report states there were 959 attacks per week on average during the three-month reporting period.

Based on the Pentagon document, a reader could reasonably conclude that during the reporting period there were 959 attacks per week on average in Iraq and that 68% of those attacks in Iraq were targeted at coalition forces.

That would be a mistaken assumption, however, because, as the Iraq Study Group noted, some types of attacks are excluded from military tallies, the coalition has no record of many attacks in Iraq (principally sectarian violence), and a large percentage of attacks in Iraq are not noted in the Multi-National Forces-Iraq Significant Activities Database.

Here is what the Iraq Study Group report said about this U.S. military practice of providing an incomplete tally of violent attacks in Iraq:

There is significant (U.S. military) underreporting of the violence in Iraq. The standard for recording attacks acts as a filter to keep events out of reports and databases. A murder of an Iraqi is not necessarily counted as an attack. If we (the U.S. military) cannot determine the source of a sectarian attack, that assault does not make it into the database. A roadside bomb or a rocket or mortar attack that doesn't hurt U.S. personnel doesn't count. For example, on one day in July 2006 there were 93 attacks or significant acts of violence reported (by the U.S. military). Yet a careful review of the reports for that single day brought to light 1,100 acts of violence. Good policy is difficult to make when information is systematically collected in a way that minimizes its discrepency with policy goals.

Thus, the total number of attacks in Iraq remains much higher than is reflected in the U.S. military's qualified tally.

The Iraq Study Group sought to address this partial tally issue by proposing two fixes:

Recommendation 77: The Director of National Intelligence and the Secretary of Defense should devote significantly greater analytic resources to the task of understanding the threats and sources of violence in Iraq.

Recommendation 78: The Director of National Intelligence and the Secretary of Defense should also institute immediate changes in the collection of data about violence and the sources of violence in Iraq to provide a more accurate picture of events on the ground.

Here is a PDF of the Pentagon's full 53-page Iraq report.


Newsweek Exclusive: Crane, Petreaus Produce New Doctrine
12/15/2006 9:10 PM ET
"Sometimes the more you protect yourself, the less secure you may be." -- new U.S. military counter-insurgency manual

The Pentagon has issued a 279-page guidebook to counter-insurgency warfare. Here is the story from Newsweek's Dan Ephron.

ISG says 5,000 U.S. contractors in Iraq, DoD says 100,000
12/09/2006 9:38 PM ET
The Iraq Study Group in its exhaustive report flatly stated U.S. military contractors employ 5,000 people in Iraq. The Defense Department announced December 4, however, that its first census of the contractor population in Iraq showed 100,000 government contractor employees there. A tip of the hat to Slogger Christina for pinpointing this ISG gaffe.


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