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What has the US "surge" in Iraq accomplished?
Monday, December 24, 2007 :The fall in US military and civilian casualties over the past several months has seen supporters of the Iraq occupation claim that the Bush administration’s boost of troop numbers to over 160,000 this year—the so-called “surge”—was a total success. Senator John McCain, for example, has made strident advocacy of sending more troops to Iraq the focus of his bid to become the Republican Party presidential candidate in 2008.
A new ad promoting his campaign declares: “One man [McCain] warned us we were failing in Iraq, and told us how we could turn things around—more troops and a different strategy. He took a lot of heat, but he stood by what he knew was right. Today that strategy is working.” His campaign was endorsed on December 17 by Democrat Joe Lieberman, who stood alongside him in New Hampshire and enthused that the US was, because of the surge, at last winning the war in Iraq.
A similar assessment has been made in the US media, with various statistics cited as proof of the success. The 38 American fatalities in October and 37 deaths in November were among the lowest monthly figures since the March 2003 invasion. The number of insurgent attacks on US and Iraqi government forces per month has fallen from 5,000 at the beginning of the year to 2,000.
The sectarian Shiite-Sunni fighting and mass killing that raged after the destruction of the Shiite Al-Askariya mosque in Samarra in February 2006 has abated, with some 560 civilian deaths documented by news services in November down from between 1,500 and 3,000 per month throughout 2006 and 2007. On the economic front, oil production and electricity generation have moderately increased.Read More