Sunday, February 29, 2004

I haven't seen this noted anywhere, but February seems to mark an important turning point in the aftermath of the Iraqi War: American military deaths plummeted to 20. This is in contrast to the previous three months in which an average of over 56 American military personnel died each month. In the last 9 days, only two American soldiers have died in Iraq, and that may not have been due to hostile fire, the incident is still being investigated. There were 3 Coalition deaths this month, including an Estonian today.

This dramatic decline in American soldiers being killed is terrific news, though surprisingly, (or should I say NOT so surprisingly) it has not merited a story in the major press as far as I'm aware. However, it does have a dark cloud. One of the reasons that fewer Americans are being killed is that our opponents are more and more targetting Iraqis. As I noted earlier this month, this is in keeping with the letter we aquired from al-Zarqawi and it's recommendations for future attacks. This itself is both good and bad news. The good news is twofold:

1. We are winning! Our enemies have recognized this, so they are being forced to adjust their strategy.
2. These attacks are ultimately going to prove, IMHO, counterproductive for them. They are just going to further alienate the average Iraqi and push them even more toward us.

The bad news is more straightforward. Our Iraqi allies are suffering, and will continue to suffer for the near future. They are not nearly as well equipped or well trained as our soldiers are, and they are also much more vulnerable, with their homes and families available as potential targets (in addition to themselves). An attack which would likely be a mere nuisance to our troops will be much more effective and bloody against Iraqi policemen. I'm not religious, but my prayers are with them.