"Success" In Anbar

Brookings

Here's a useful reality-check:

Let us assume that everything that we are getting from the official sources are true. The official statistics are saying that the 'dramatic' improvement in Anbar Province in reducing attacks per day in the single province to 26 is more than the number of attacks per day needed in June 2003 across the entire country to force the fragmentation of primary group loyalties and destroy the ability of a modern state to function. Remember there are eighteen provinces, and going back to the DOD report, there are at least five provinces with the same or greater number of attacks per day on average per province greater than the nation wide number of attacks per day in June, 2003.

Reducing the level of violence by 10% nationwide is a positive step in reducing suffering, but it does nothing to further anything that vaguely resembles a US strategic goal. Reducing the level of violence by 25% is a positive step in reducing suffering, but it does nothing to further anything that vaguely resembles a US strategic goal. Reducing the level of violence by 50% nationwide is a positive step in reducing suffering, but it does nothing to further anything that vaguely resembles a US strategic goal.

To have a chance in hell of accomplishing any US strategic goals, the level of violence in Iraq has to decrease by 80 to 90% to return to the June, 2003 levels. Everything else is, unfortunately, statistical noise within a very negative trend line.