Monday, January 07, 2008

One third of a lot is still a lot



Michael O'Hanlon, Iraq surge enthusiast, tells Wall Street Journal readers (subs. req'd) that Barack Obama is being too partisan about Iraq --

Strategically, it makes little sense to rush for the exits in Iraq when violence has declined by two-thirds over the last year -- a remarkable accomplishment that Mr. Obama belittled in Manchester, N.H., during the Democratic debate on Saturday when he claimed that such a development only brought Iraq back to 2006 levels of lethality (which is probably not true).

Above, the most recent charts from Multi-National Force Iraq which clearly show that all the surge has done is reduce violence back to its, er, January 2006 level. That's just under 600 attacks a week, and a lot of dead people. O'Hanlon does allow that Obama has "a melodic message of hope", though.

UPDATE: There's an extra line to O'Hanlon's bio for the article -- Mr. O'Hanlon is a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. He advised Hillary Clinton until last summer, when his support for the surge led to a cutting of ties by mutual consent.