UPDATE: Politico reports Pew data shows support for on Iraq War breaks over 50% for first time since 2006
Anti-war folks are entitled to their opinions. Anti-Iraq war politicians are entitled to talk about “judgment” in 2002/3 and how, via clairvoyant abilities, they saw every flaw in President Bush’s strategy regarding post-Invasion Iraq. All the politicians are entitled to score whatever domestic political points they want.
But no one is entitled to their own set of facts. Opinion, judgment, and analysis by folks without the direct responsibility for the troops and the execution of the plan shouldn’t be given more weight than those who were and are on the ground – right now – working for real progress. (With the notable exception of Admiral William ‘Fox’ Fallon, who seems to have been cast in the role of Richard Armitage 2.0.)
Here’s the latest from the Multi-National Force folks:
U.S. Military Reports Recent Security And Economic Progress In Iraq
Violence levels are down throughout most of Iraq and declined during the period from December 2007 through February 2008. (“Measuring Stability And Security In Iraq,” Department Of Defense Report To Congress, March 2008)
· Deaths from ethno-sectarian violence are down approximately 90% since June 2007.
· Total civilian deaths have dropped by more than 70% since June 2007.
· Coalition deaths have dropped by more than 70% since June 2007.
· Overall violence has decreased to levels that were last seen consistently in early 2005.
· Security incidents in Anbar province have decreased approximately 90% since January 2007.
The “Sons of Iraq” Awakening movement continues to grow. (“Measuring Stability And Security In Iraq,” Department Of Defense Report To Congress, March 2008)
· Overall, Sons of Iraq now number approximately 91,000.
· Approximately 20,000 have already transitioned to Iraqi Security Forces or to civil employment.
Iraqi police and military capabilities continue to improve. (“Measuring Stability And Security In Iraq,” Department Of Defense Report To Congress, March 2008)
· Iraq’s Ministry of Interior has expanded its training facilities from four to 17 over the past year.
· The Ministry of Defense has generated 134 army combat, infrastructure, and Special Operations battalions that are conducting operations at varying levels of capability.
Economic development continues throughout Iraq. (“Measuring Stability And Security In Iraq,” Department Of Defense Report To Congress, March 2008)
· Iraq’s economy is projected to grow 7% in 2008, resulting in an estimated nominal GDP of $60.9 billion.
· Core inflation for 2007 was 12.28%, compared to core inflation of 31.92% in 2006.
· In 2007, capital budget execution occurred at more than double the 2006 rate.
· In the last three months, mentoring by Provincial Reconstruction Teams helped 17 of 18 Provincial councils submit Provincial Development Strategies to the Ministry of Planning.