News & Politics

Both Decrease And Increase In Troop Deaths Prove The Surge Is Success

For supporters of the war, up is down, down is up, and 2+2=5.
Council on Foreign Relations Senior Fellow Max Boot is one of the most vocal supporters of a neocon foreign policy. He says those who favor withdrawal from Iraq engage in wishful thinking and claims there is copious evidence that Iran is training al Qaeda. He said former CENTCOM commander Adm. William Fallon's hesitation to bomb Iran embolden[ed] the mullahs, and claimed that the recently-revealed Pentagon propaganda program is simply part and parcel of the daily grind of Washington journalism.

He has also been a vociferous defender of the Iraq troop surge. Today, in an online debate on the surge, Boot points to the overall decrease in troop deaths as evidence of its success:
I could cite statistics to show how the “surge”—not only an increase in the number of U.S. troops in Iraq but also a change in their strategy to emphasis classic counterinsurgency—has been paying off: Civilian deaths were down more than 80 percent and U.S. deaths down more than 60 percent between December 2006 and March 2008.
Just two days ago, however, in a Wall Street Journal op-ed, Boot argued that the recent increase in U.S. troop casualties showed the surge was working. Acknowledging that April was the deadliest month for U.S. troops in Iraq since August (Boot says 52 soldiers died; in fact54 did), Boot says the U.S. is approaching “the enemy’s defeat“: