Brave Soldiers Still Dying

Just spent some time analyzing the most recent casualty figures in the Iraq War. Our brave soldiers are still dying, and my analysis revealed that, despite what pundits and politicians are saying, things don’t seem to be getting better–at least, not according to this metric.

Iraq Casualties May 2006

That thick red line is the linear trendline of the data points. As you can see, it has a slight upward slope, which means that, if we were predicting casualties into the future, we would predict steadily increasing U.S. solider deaths.

Meanwhile, this Washington Post story makes it clear that the situation in Iraq isn’t getting any simpler for our soldiers. Intensifying violence between Iraq’s different ethnic groups:

On Sunday, however, bombs apparently placed by Sunni insurgents claimed the greatest toll. In the largely Shiite Baghdad neighborhood of Karrada, a suicide bomber wearing an explosives-packed vest killed at least 18 people in a restaurant during lunchtime

. . .

“I saw burning pesh merga bodies thrown up in the air,” said taxi driver Kareem Khalaf, a witness, using the term for Kurdish militia members.

This is not the sort of situation that our soldiers are trained to fix. We should be having a conversation about why, specifically, these young people are dying, and whether it is sensible to stay the course when the course leads to ever-growing death.