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September 20, 2007

Posted by Ilan Goldenberg

Today General Odierno is out saying that violence in Iraq is at its lowest levels since the Samarra bombings in February 2006.  Too bad the Pentagon's number from a report issued this week completely contradict that.



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Question on this post. How do "daily casualties" compare to "violence"? I agree that casualties are a result of violence but they don't seem to be comparable. For example, in July there could have been 20 car bombs that killed or injured 100 people. Then in August, there could have been one car bomb that killed or injured 500 people. Therefore, from July to August, "violence" would be down but "casualties" up. While yes I'm sure these numbers are related somehow but I don't understand how they contradict each other.

While the MSM articles have been vague, Odierno was most likely referring to the last few weeks. We know from the Petraeus hearings those last few weeks have been in a very positive trend.

Without knowing the exact time frame Odierno refers to, it's hard to say for sure whether the graph contradicts him. Given that he's a very professional soldier serving our country on the ground in Iraq and we're sitting comfortably here at home, I am inclined to give him the benefit of the doubt.

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