Miscellaneous Good News

All Things Conservative links to the Brookings Institution’s most recent Iraq index, and notes many signs of ongoing progress:

Per Capita GDP (USD) for 2005 is forecast to increase from the previous year to $1,051. In 2002 it was $802.

On an index of political freedom for countries in the Middle East, Iraq now ranks fourth, just below Israel, Lebanon, and Morocco.

The unemployment rate in June of 2003 was 50-60%, and in April of this year it had dropped to 25-40%.

As of January 2006, 64% of Iraqis polled said that the country was headed in the right direction.

Nowhere near that many Americans think Iraq is heading in the right direction, but the Iraqis should be in the best position to judge.

Meanwhile, the American Forces Press Service released the latest data on military recruitment:

All four services exceeded their active-duty recruiting goals in April for the 11th consecutive month and remain ahead of their year-to-date goals, defense officials announced today.

Year-to-date recruiting numbers were equally impressive, she said. As of April, the Army had exceeded its goal by 4 percent, with more than 37,000 recruits. The Marine Corps and Air Force exceeded their goals by 1 percent, with almost 15,000 and almost 18,000 recruits, respectively. And the Navy met its goal, recruiting almost 18,000 sailors.

The military noted that reenlistment rates remain sky-high, which has the effect of making recruiting tougher for the reserves, which have always relied heavily on former active servicemen for recruits.

The left is busily organizing antiwar veterans’ groups, and the Democrats have recruited a number of antiwar veterans to run for Congress. But objective data, including re-enlistment rates, suggest that the large majority of servicemembers continue to believe in the military’s mission in general, and the Iraq effort in particular.

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