November proved a stable month in Iraq, though December is off to a rocky start. Hostile fatalities for coalition troops remained the same as last month, with non-hostile deaths up slightly.
I finally found a graphics tool to allow correction of the distortion I was getting with pasted Excel graph images. It takes a bit of time, since the process requires recreation of the image pretty much from scratch. But I'm satisfied with the initial results.
Casualties among Iraqi civilians and security forces are up slightly for November. Even taking three month averages together to smooth out the bumps a bit reveals a slight increase in the fatality trend, which is perhaps confirmed by the spate of violence that kicked off December. A message from insurgents to Barack Obama, reminding him to conduct a rapid withdrawal? That's hard to say, since a number of factors have simply made it easier for attacks to take place. First, Iraqi security is handling more and more security duties. Second, concrete barriers erected as part of the surge strategy have been removed in some areas, making it easier to employ car bombs and the like.
The story remains the same. Iraq has been won, but not irrevocably.