Today, the New York Times is reporting the deaths of 14 U.S. servicemen in two days in Iraq. Only one died in the in the major military operations in Diyala Province, where 10,000 U.S. and Iraq troops face three or four hundred entrenched Al Qaeda terrorists. The vast majority died in the way that has become all too familiar in the last four years - in Bagdhad, because of car bombs.
Is that metric enough for you, Gen.Pace? You say "So it's not about levels of violence. It's about progress being made..." Where's the progress?
And don't point me to Baqubah and other operations outside Baghdad, which the cheerleaders are so jubilant about. Fallujah is probably the most frequently and aggressively "pacified" town in the whole country, but as a Bloomberg report today reveals, as soon as the surge which is supposed to "clear" out the bad guys is past, the "hold" phase turns into whack-a-mole writ smaller.
"We don't go into the back alleys unless the Iraqis need us for something," said Lance Corporal Michael Driscoll, 20, from Connecticut, who was sitting in the back seat.How's that for a metric, too, General, four years in country?