Attrition: Patterns in Iraq


September 8, 2006: In Iraq, the rate of attacks remains very high compared to this time last year. Over the past three months, attacks have average 800-1000 a week. Curiously, during the same period, attacks that are identified as "sectarian" have declined from about 20 percent of all incidents to about 10-12 percent. Incidents in Baghdad are also down, by about 10 percent, due to the concerted government/Coalition effort to get more personnel into difficult neighborhoods. Most attacks are still against civilians, with attacks on Government troops and police in second place, and Coalition forces a rather distant third. But in Anbar province, Al-Qaeda, which has come to dominate the insurgency in region, seems to be focusing on U.S. Forces, which have take some 75-85 percent of the attacks.
American casualties continue to fall, with Iraqis taking more of the losses, as the number of Iraqi security forces grows. This is especially true as Iraqi troops are sent into more Sunni Arab areas.




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