Since we last wrote for The National Interest—in the Winter 2003/04 issue (“Scoring the Iraq Aftermath”), presenting data on security and economic trends in Iraq from the fall of Baghdad through autumn 2003—the
news coming out of Iraq has worsened.

In our article, we observed:

“A successful counterinsurgency must have security and economic dimensions. In the security sphere, it is necessary to try to assess progress in the counterinsurgency: namely in neutralizing resistance forces, reducing crime rates and building Iraqi security forces.”

And here, the news appears to be bad. More Americans have died in Iraq in the six months from November 1, 2003 through April 30, 2004 (371 in total) than in the preceding eight. April 2004 was deadlier for American forces than even the invasion months of March and April 2003. And death totals among Iraqi security personnel have been roughly comparable in number.

Reproduced by permission of The National Interest, (No.76, Summer 2004).