In the last fifteen weeks, sixty U.S. troops have died in combat, and another 460 have been wounded. That's about five casualties a day. But four brigades, in large Sunni Central Iraq, are taking most of the hits. This is about half the casualty rate all divisions suffered during the three week drive on Baghdad. The opposition, the Sunni dominated Baath Party, is being reinforced by al Qaeda and like minded Islamic radicals. Many media pundits and politicians are declaring the war deadlocked and, ultimately, lost, because the Baath Party
Baath fighters blew up part of the oil pipeline leading from the northern oil fields to Turkey. More Iraqi guards were being added to the pipeline security force even before this attack. The current security force of 6,500 is to be doubled to 13,000. There are about a thousand kilometers of oil pipelines to be guarded.