Vastly improved casualty figures in 2009 for Iraq

With the end of 2009, we have the fatality statistics for U.S. forces in Iraq for the year. Any military operation involves pain, maiming, fear, death and courage and for those who are casualties there is no such thing as "light." We all keep this in mind.

But in terms of the fate of the mission, the future of the country and the results of military sacrifice, it is also useful to measure what has happened in Iraq. U.S. military fatalities from all causes -- both combat and non-combat -- are shown in the following graph:





U.S. military fatalities dropped to 3 in December 2009, the lowest for any month of the Iraq War. This is a dramatic drop from the peak level on the chart in May 2007 of 126 souls (the peak number in the entire war was 137 in November 2004).

Combined Iraqi fatalities - civilian plus security forces - also improved in 2009, if not to the same degree as our own:




For December, they were 287 as compared with a peak figure of 3,539 in September 2006, which was also the peak monthly figure in the entire war.

Will the politicians in Iraq be able to solve the problems of the tri-partite nature of Iraq? We shall see. But the military results have been impressive and have justified Bush's courageous decision to double down in early 2007 when all bien pensant opinion, or, as Thomas Sowell would say, the opinion of the intellectuals, was against him, including that of our current president who pledged to campaign against that decision at that time.

Courage and resolution can pay off. We should remember this as we sail into the storm, as Winston Churchill would say, in the war with Islamic radicalism.

With the end of 2009, we have the fatality statistics for U.S. forces in Iraq for the year. Any military operation involves pain, maiming, fear, death and courage and for those who are casualties there is no such thing as "light." We all keep this in mind.

But in terms of the fate of the mission, the future of the country and the results of military sacrifice, it is also useful to measure what has happened in Iraq. U.S. military fatalities from all causes -- both combat and non-combat -- are shown in the following graph:





U.S. military fatalities dropped to 3 in December 2009, the lowest for any month of the Iraq War. This is a dramatic drop from the peak level on the chart in May 2007 of 126 souls (the peak number in the entire war was 137 in November 2004).

Combined Iraqi fatalities - civilian plus security forces - also improved in 2009, if not to the same degree as our own:




For December, they were 287 as compared with a peak figure of 3,539 in September 2006, which was also the peak monthly figure in the entire war.

Will the politicians in Iraq be able to solve the problems of the tri-partite nature of Iraq? We shall see. But the military results have been impressive and have justified Bush's courageous decision to double down in early 2007 when all bien pensant opinion, or, as Thomas Sowell would say, the opinion of the intellectuals, was against him, including that of our current president who pledged to campaign against that decision at that time.

Courage and resolution can pay off. We should remember this as we sail into the storm, as Winston Churchill would say, in the war with Islamic radicalism.