Sunday, September 02, 2007

And the Winner of the World's Stupidest Headline Contest Is... 
...The Miami Herald, with "Casualties Drop Despite U.S. Build-up."

Despite? Hmmm. You think there might be a cause and effect relationship there somehow, scoop?

Wasn't that the whole purpose of the surge?

Fucking moron.

My criticism is directed more at the editors of the Miami Herald than at the reporter, McClatchy's Nancy Youssef, who does a reasonable job explaining the different theories explaining the reduction in U.S. casualties.

She also includes one very interesting metric:

Most agree that a second reason for the decline is the dramatic change of conditions in Anbar province, where former Sunni insurgents have teamed up with American troops to rid the province of the group al Qaeda in Iraq. About one-third of U.S. casualties have been in Anbar province, but that has shifted since the troop increase began. In August, about 10 percent of U.S. casualties occurred there, compared with 30 percent in January, when the buildup began.

Perhaps someone with more time on their hands than I have at the moment can do a bit of number crunching and assess what percentage of the US casualty decline is explained by the improvement in the Al Anbar province?

Did Baghdad and the surrounding areas note similar results?

I notice that Al Qaeda has no more appetite to stand and fight against U.S. forces as they did in Fallujah. As has been pointed out, the dumb ones are already dead.

My own theory is this: In counterinsurgency, the initiative is everything. You will have lower casualty rates if you are on the offensive all the time. The more raids you do, the more you attack, the lower your casualties will be. Attack, Attack, ATTACK!!!

There is no substitute for closing with and destroying the enemy.

Finding him is the hard part. But the offensive generates intelligence. You find one safe house, you will find information on the whereabouts of 1.3 more, on average.

Whereas if you rely on the defense, you will gain no intelligence on anything except where the last bomb went off killing your own troops.

For a fuller discussion (by me) of the logic of the offensive and why it is superior to a defensive posture, click here.

Splash, out


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Reminds me of that cluelss headline "Prison Populations Soar Despite Falling Crime Rate."

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