Saturday, October 11, 2008

Baghdad: Walls come down, stakes go up

Reports have it that Iraqi security forces are taking down the concrete blast walls that enabled the surge/COIN strategy to significantly pacify Baghdad.

The Iraqis are reportedly making the move to stimulate economic growth--Iraq continues with a high unemployment rate. The move will make it easier for insurgent groups to make use of car bombs and travel freely in the capital. An uptick in violence will test the nationalistic unity among Iraq's religious factions.

This probably alters the casualty/fatality trends as I have predicted them. I now think fatalities among U.S. troops will probably hold steady since they can't get much lower in the first place. I'll look for a moderate increase in fatalities among Iraqi civilians and security forces leading up to the provincial elections.

Hopefully the elections will serve as a turning point and violence will again start to decline.

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