Surge Metrics

Saturday, June 30, 2007
Bill Roggio continues to provide a comprehensive overview of Operation Phantom Thunder. His current report contains a compendium of status reports for Baghdad from April and June presented as a narrative. The same results are presented in tabular form below:


Total Neighborhoods****474

I'm sure that July and August will show diminishing returns and there is always the potential problem of the IA and IP being unable to keep neighborhood in the 'retention' category but very significant progress is obviously being achieved. I'm sure that similiar status breakdowns have been compiled for the 'belts' and I look forward to seeing Bill report on them.

Petraeus has ninety days left in which to make his mark. The PR walkback on Baquba didn't help him a bit so he really needs to move the Baghdad numbers if he expects to retain the modicum amount of Republican support that he now holds. Otherwise we'll be withdrawing to laagers and pulling force levels down whether the Iraqis are "ready" or not.

Which may be precisely what the elected government wants. Oh well. At least the Sunnis are better armed and organized. It won't be a fair fight but they will get their innings in.

The Kurds are proceeding with their oil development plans whether the central government gets its act together or not. Lots of room for nice bases up there.

UPDATE: Yon checks in with a report from the Belts. More upbeat news concerning IA willingness to fight - and more downbeat news about al Queada's willingness to slaughter.

UPDATE: Civilian deaths in Iraq down 36% in June.


Luther McLeod said...

An out of tune note here perhaps. But I (though the congress is different) abhor a statistics based war. Especially one in which the MSM dictates the metrics. Petraeus has immense pressure too produce 'time wise' what may not be possible 'event wise'. It is not 'boots on ground' that is being judged, but congress critters in their nice A/C offices who decide what 'they' consider a sufficient metric. They are mostly cowards, but they do (power of purse) get to decide the way forward, or retreat. I accept the system, though I do not always like it.

Rick Ballard said...

These aren't MSM metrics though - Petraeus wouldn't be publishing something if he didn't think he could show improvement. It's also a way to put pressure on the Iraqis with the retention number.

If they won't do what's necessary to hold neighborhoods in their own damn capital then maybe we're better off in bases up in Kurdistan.

Petraeus has chosen a bold game and put up his numbers - I admire him for doing so and wish him and the troops the very best in making the numbers shine. If the Copperheads want to pull out, they're going to have to do it in the face of measured progress.

It really ain't a half bad idea.

Luther McLeod said...

Perhaps it's all on the table here then. But I still have aversion to metrics. Whether set my Petraeus or the MSM. I will say they are both mistaken. Measured progress is subject to many interpretations. Considering our present state, that presents an opportunity for defeat, as defined by our legislators.

Excuse my obtuseness, but it is absolute victory I seek. Not metrics on a white board. I'm old fashioned I guess.

Rick Ballard said...


What would constitute "absolute victory"? The core tenets of Islam do not allow for surrender, only for retreat and a lying truce. There is no "living god" who can toss in the towel and accept democracy and certainly the modicum level of intelligence and literacy necessary to even apprehend democracy as other than a means to 'beggar thy neighbor' through mob rule doesn't exist among Arabs.

The petty tyrants and despicable despots representing the flower of leadership among muslims have been cowed for six years. If we can leave sufficient forces (say in Kurdistan) to keep them cowed for another fifty years, how is that not victory?

The USSR never surrendered either, yet we still prevailed.

Luther McLeod said...

You're right Rick - silly statement. A few last, not well thought out, keystrokes before retiring for the evening.

Come too think of it, almost makes me sound like a congressional Dem.

It just seems as if metrics will not do the job when Petraeus goes before the Congress in September. The Dems could care less about winning this war, no matter what numbers are put before them.

I guess I'm just tired of it, and wanting to elevate the situation. It would not be a good time for me to be the one issuing orders. I would be sending out more than a few ultimatums, and backing them with force if necessary.

Your logic in rebuttal is sound of course. But the thought of this war dragging out another fifty years is depressing. But that may well be the reality we have too live with.

Rick Ballard said...


Do you recall when ARVN troops came to be considered trustworthy? It was after '66, I believe. 3-4 years after the Berets began working on and with them. The Montagnards and Hmong were decent mercenaries from the get go but the ARVN had been so poorly led (and the govt so corrupt) that in the beginning it was difficult to get good work out of them. They sure didn't become dependable overnight.

That's what makes Yon's positive reports concerning the IA rather cheering - the Iraqi O and NCO corps was (and in many cases still is) more corrupt than the ARVN leadership, the Iraqi government is certainly more corrupt than was the government of the RVN prior to '67-'68 so the units that Yon is reporting upon are essentially running on esprit - and doing moderately well.

These metrics aren't comparable to McNamaras KIA crap IMO. They are geographically bound and rather easy to identify. I don't doubt that the Copperheads will squirm like the lying crapweasels that they are - that's their true nature - but even with diminishing returns for July and August they'll be having a tough time with "it's all lost" if Petraeus can put up good numbers.

I really think he has a fair chance of doing so.

Luther McLeod said...

Yes Rick, I recall all that. And your optimism is encouraging, and I agree with it. But need I remind the aftermath of such equally encouraging news from Vietnam. Our Country, led by a Dem Congress and Senate. Deserted. Cowards all. All of them more interested in re-election than preservation of this Country or any others of a nebulous democratic bent.