Saturday, February 23, 2008

Sadr's Extended Cease Fire, and what it means for Coalition Fatalities

While we are all happy that the death toll from Iraq has declined, giving all the credit to The Surge may be a bit off the mark given the influence of al-Sadr's cease fire, which has now been extended for six months. Over at Thoughts from Kansas, Joshua has a geat chart showing the deaths over time, complete wth various regressions, including ones for post-surge and post-cease fire. The regression for the post-cease fire is a better fit than the one for post-surge, which indicates the reduction in deaths is due more to the cease fire. As some commenters have also noted, just what might we be doing to encourage this behavour from al-Sadr, and what that might cost us in the long run, remain to be seen. There's a call for optimism here, but an even stronger one for caution.

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