Casualty figures and data on Iraqi infrastructure have been recently released showing the contrast between the human cost of the war, in terms of
casualties, and the social cost to Iraq, in terms of degradation of facilities and services. This information gives a virtual snapshot of where we are
now in Iraq, and provides key result indicators for progress in the coming year.
_U.S. deaths as of Jan. 31, 2007: 3,083.
_U.S. wounded as of Jan. 30, 2007: 23,279.
_More than $350 billion. Combined with the conflict in Afghanistan and operations against terrorism elsewhere, the cost has topped at least
_Prewar: 2.58 million barrels daily.
_Jan. 21, 2006: 1.21 million barrels daily.
_Prewar nationwide: 3,958 megawatts. Hours per day (estimated): four to eight.
_Jan. 17, 2006, nationwide: 3,570 megawatts. Hours per day: 7.5.
_Prewar Baghdad: 2,500 megawatts. Hours per day (estimated): 16-24.
_Jan. 17, 2006, Baghdad: 2,200 megawatts. Hours per day: 4.5.
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The potable water and sewer numbers have showed a positive trend, but not nearly as much as cell phone service. I also have to wonder how much of
this growth would have occurred anyway, or even at a faster pace, without the war.
Oil production and security is obviously a major issue. The nation's only source of income cut by half. Unemployment figures are not cited, but I
have heard it is over 30%. I'm sure the number of internal refugees and increase in Iraqis living abroad, a combined total of over 3 million
citizens, is contributing to the country's economic problems.
Overall, some major challenges lie ahead for the pacification and gentrification of Iraq. To me, these challenges call into question the
administration's rationalizations for substantiation of the troop surge. We are assured of a rise in the casualty figure, we must have immediate
progress to show for putting more troops in harm's way. Not to mention the issue of funding, with a request reportedly coming for another $100
billion for this year and $150 billion for next year, or something like that.
In any event, these figures provide a much needed benchmark for tangible progress in Iraq, and key result indicators for achieving it without further
delay or escalation of conflict in the region.
[edit on 3-2-2007 by Icarus Rising]