The Belmont Club on Iraq

The Belmont Club tries to examine empirically the questions of whether unrest in spreading in Iraq and whether Iraq is descending into civil war. It does so by considering the number of U.S. fatalities and where they are occurring. As to the latter point, “the overwhelming percentage of men perished fighting in the same places, namely the Sunni triangle, notably near Fallujah and in certain neighborhoods of Baghdad. Even operations against Moqtada al Sadr did not change the pattern.”
The Belmont Club’s verdict: “Based on the pattern of casualties, it is hard to reach the conclusion that Iraq is descending into anarchy or that the resistance is spreading uncontrollably. If that were true we would be seeing a different distribution of casualties.” My verdict: we need to take on the enemy in Fallujah and in those certain neighborhoods in Baghdad.

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