The relevant page is #23 with the following quote: "Attacks in
Anbar have dropped from 35 per day in the previous reporting period to just under 26,"
The probable explanation leads the story on p. 20
"As part of the increase in force levels, 4,000 additional Marines are currently deploying into Anbar Province......The recent success of tribal engagement in
Anbar Province is primarily driven by a concerted campaign of widespread contact
with the Anbar tribes ranging from the Syrian border to Baghdad. The Sahawa al-
Iraqi (SAI), formerly known as Sahawa al-Anbar, an anti-AQI tribal movement led by 41-year-old Sheikh Abdul Sattar Bezea Fitikhan al-Rishawi,....
Let's assume that all of this is true to the best current knowledge. And let's forget the probable embezzlement of $75 million dollars by the leader of the Anbar Salvation Council as he 'forgot' to pay his allies and instead may have fled the country. But let's put on the happy face and then let's take a look at this chart from the Brookings Institute Iraq Index (published for July 16, 2007) and remember what our baseline looks like:
So let us assume that everything that we are getting from the official sources are true [if you believe that, please check out our new Cafe Press shirts]. The official statistics are saying that the 'dramatic' improvement in Anbar Province in reducing attacks per day in the single province to 26 is more than the number of attacks per day needed in June 2003 across the entire country to force the fragmentation of primary group loyalties and destroy the ability of a modern state to function. Remember there are eighteen provinces, and going back to the DOD report, there are at least five provinces with the same or greater number of attacks per day on average per province greater than the nation wide number of attacks per day in June, 2003.
Reducing the level of violence by 10% nationwide is a positive step in reducing suffering, but it does nothing to further anything that vaguely resembles a US strategic goal. Reducing the level of violence by 25% is a positive step in reducing suffering, but it does nothing to further anything that vaguely resembles a US strategic goal. Reducing the level of violence by 50% nationwide is a positive step in reducing suffering, but it does nothing to further anything that vaguely resembles a US strategic goal.
To have a chance in hell of accomplishing any US strategic goals, the level of violence in Iraq has to decrease by 80 to 90% to return to the June, 2003 levels. Everything else is, unfortunately, statistical noise within a very negative trend line.