The Brookings Institute released their monthly Report on Iraq. It’s an excellent compilation of statistical information
They summarize the report as follows: “On balance, Iraq at the end of July is showing significant signs of battlefield momentum in favor of U.S./coalition military forces, but there is nonetheless little good to report on the political front and only modest progress on the economic side of things.”
I believe our goal should be political progress in the local and provincial level. The Central Government is too defective to be considered a real entity. Real progress will be rebuilding Iraq from the bottom up. Over the long-term, non-sectarian political parties will start winning elections to the central government and then progress will be made in Baghdad.
Right now, we can see that the overall number of attacks is dropping across the country. The insurgency reached its culminating point sometime between August 2006 and January 2007, and has been in decline since. Also of note, the ratio of of successful to failed attacks has dropped to 10% this year from 20-30% last year.
The number of EJKs has declined from its high.
This is part of the report on Anbar Province:
*Violent attacks in the Ramadi region have dropped from 25 per day in 2006 to 4 per day since the Surge (April 29, 2007)
*In May 2006, there were 811 attacks throughout the province. In May 2007, that figure was just over 400 (May 31, 2007)
→In the city of Ramadi, there were 234 attacks in May 2006 compared to 30 in May 2007
*Since the beginning of 2007, 12,000 Iraqis have volunteered for the security forces. In all of 2006, 1,000 volunteered (May 31, 2007)
The number of men killed by IEDs has declined this year.
Brookings offers an informative chart that describes the number of attacks per province. 95% of the violence is strongly concentrated in the Arab Sunni Provinces and Baghdad. The remainder of the country is relatively peaceful.
Al Anbar: 23.6%
Salah ad Din: 14.9%
Al Tamim: 3.9%
Al Bashray: 3.4%
Al Qadisiyah: 0.8%
Dhi Qar: 0.4%
Al Muthanna: 0.3%
An Najaf: 0.2%
As Sulaymaniyah: 0.2%
Here is the report on Refugees as of Nov 2006:
[Total]Iraqi Refugees living abroad: 1.8 million
Iraqi Refugees in Syria: 600,000 – 1 million
Iraqi Refugees in Jordan: 700,000 – 750,000
Iraqi Refugees in Egypt, Lebanon, Iran: 175,000 – 200,000
Nearly all these refugees are Arab Sunnis. The Sunni economy has collapsed, unlike the rest of the country, and the violence is centered in their communities. Much of their Middle Class has fled or were chased off by Shia militias.
One of the reasons the Arab Sunni insurgents and tribes are cooperating with the Americans is because they fear what a civil war will do to their community. The face a real prospect of ethnic cleansing unless they stop the violence.
The Sunnis may have lost almost half their population in Iraq, reducing them to perhaps 10% of the total population. This represents a serious loss of power and opportunity. The Sunnis clearly lost the war and are dependant on the Americans to prevent their extermination. They fought beyond their means to win and now they are suffering the price. What people fail to realize is that the insurgents made very serious errors in this war as well.
Finally, here’s another point of interest.
INDEX OF POLITICAL FREEDOM:
United Arab Emirates 3.70
Saudi Arabia 2.80
Iraq, prior to 2003, ranked beneath Syria in political freedoms.
The whole report is worth reading. It’s the kind of reporting journalists should do.