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Declining Casualties in Iraq

Marc Schulman does not expect the Democrats to take note of some positive developments in Iraq. He quotes the Washington Post in his American Future blog:

In September, Iraqi civilian deaths were down 52 percent from August and 77 percent from September 2006, according to the Web site icasualties.org. The Iraqi Health Ministry and the Associated Press reported similar results. U.S. soldiers killed in action numbered 43 down 43 percent from August and 64 percent from May, which had the highest monthly figure so far this year.
Last week, Marc wrote about about a NYT article describing a changed sectarian landscape: "Sunni extremists largely defeated in many Shiite neighborhoods" and Baghdad's Shiites "disillusioned" with the Mahdi Army. See his post: "Turn of the Tide in Iraq.
None of these developments made (big) news in Germany.

UPDATE: Today, the Washington Post also runs an Op-Ed by 12 former Army captains: "The Real Iraq We Knew." They argue that the US should "leave Iraq immediately," unless the draft is re-instituted:
Even with "the surge," we simply do not have enough soldiers and marines to meet the professed goals of clearing areas from insurgent control, holding them securely and building sustainable institutions. (...)
Iraqi security forces would not be able to salvage the situation. Even if all the Iraqi military and police were properly trained, equipped and truly committed, their 346,000 personnel would be too few. As it is, Iraqi soldiers quit at will. The police are effectively controlled by militias. And, again, corruption is debilitating. U.S. tax dollars enrich self-serving generals and support the very elements that will battle each other after we're gone.
This is Operation Iraqi Freedom and the reality we experienced. This is what we tried to communicate up the chain of command. This is either what did not get passed on to our civilian leadership or what our civilian leaders chose to ignore. While our generals pursue a strategy dependent on peace breaking out, the Iraqis prepare for their war -- and our servicemen and women, and their families, continue to suffer.
There is one way we might be able to succeed in Iraq. To continue an operation of this intensity and duration, we would have to abandon our volunteer military for compulsory service. Short of that, our best option is to leave Iraq immediately.

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