Thursday, October 19, 2006

Bush Loses His Grip on Iraq

Today, as President Bush campaigns for Don Sherwood in Pennsylvania, Iraq is deteriorating. By hitting the campaign trail when he should be tackling the bruising situation in Iraq, the President has demonstrated that he's losing his grip. It's time for a new direction.

  • 11 US Soldiers Killed in Iraq. "At least 11 more U.S. troops were killed in the unyielding violence across Iraq that forced the U.S. military yesterday to throw out its strategic playbook in order to stop revenge killings north of Baghdad. Ten Army troops and a Marine died in combat, including four soldiers killed by a roadside bomb west of Baghdad, to bring the U.S. death toll to 70 this month." [New York Daily News, 10/19/06]

  • October on Track to Be Deadliest Month in Two Years. "With nearly four troops killed daily, October is on a pace to be the bloodiest month of the war since 137 died in November 2004." [New York Daily News, 10/19/06]

  • Maj. Gen. William B. Caldwell Said the Bid to Secure Baghdad Has Not Met Expectations. "In Baghdad, Operation Together Forward has made a difference in the focus areas but has not met our overall expectations in sustaining a reduction in the level of violence." [AP, 10/19/06]

  • Despite the Second Baghdad Security Initiative, Attacks Have Recently Increased by 22%. "Attacks in the Baghdad area went up 22 percent during the first three weeks of Ramadan in comparison with the three weeks before, an increase General Caldwell called "disheartening.'" [New York Times, 10/19/06]

  • President Agrees Situation in Iraq is Similar to Tet Offensive. "In an interview last night on ABC's 'World News with Charles Gibson,' President Bush said it's possible Iraq is undergoing the equivalent of the 1968 Tet offensive in Vietnam - which weighed heavily in the U.S. decision to withdraw. 'He could be right,' Bush said of the Tet comparison, made yesterday by New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman." [New York Daily News, 10/19/06]

  • Militias Splintering Into Radicalized, Independent Cells. "The fragmentation poses new obstacles to U.S. and Iraqi forces trying to quell the sectarian strife that U.S. commanders fear could plunge the nation into civil war. Militias have already replaced the Sunni Arab insurgency as the biggest challenge to U.S. efforts to bring stability to Iraq. Senior U.S. military officials privately acknowledge they do not have the manpower to conduct urban sweeps in every neighborhood or prevent areas they have cleared from again becoming havens of lawlessness and killing." [Washington Post, 10/19/06]

  • Currently, there are 144,000 Troops in Iraq. Currently, there are 144,000 U.S. service men and women in Iraq, the vast majority of them Army. This is an increase from 126,900 in June of this year. [Brookings Iraq Index, p. 20, 10/12/06]

  • 43% Increase in Attacks on U.S. Military and Iraqi Police. According to the U.S. military there has been a 43 percent increase in attacks on U.S. and Iraqi forces in Bagdhad since midsummer as casualties among Iraqi troops and civilians are soaring far higher than at any previous time in the war [Washington Post, 10/19/06]

  • The Civil War Has Reached New Levels. 767 Iraqis have been killed so far in October, nearly double the average number. 45 Iraqis have died everyday this month putting it on pace to be the deadliest month for Iraqi civilians since the war began. More than a million people have either fled the country or been forced to move. [AP, 10/17/06]

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