IRAQ UPDATE….Here’s your monthly look at civilian casualty trends in Iraq. Fatalities in February were (again) considerably lower than the peak 2006-07 months, but showed an uptick of about 25% from January (corrected as usual for the number of days in each month). These are ICCC numbers; official ministry figures show an uptick of about 40% in all deaths, both civilian and military. There’s no telling if this uptick is meaningful or not, but it’s obviously something to keep an eye on.
There’s not much point in rehashing every month the usual dispute about what’s responsible for the drop in casualties or whether the drop is meaningful in the absence of political progress. I think we all know the arguments on both sides. This is, as usual, just raw data so that we’re all at least familiar with the basic trends.