Pentagon reports Iraq violence at highest level

The weekly average of attacks in Iraq over the past four months is worse than at any point since the transfer of sovereignty, Congress was told today.

By Alex Koppelman
Published December 18, 2006 10:33PM (EST)

A disturbing new report out of the Pentagon: Over the past four months, from mid-August to mid-November, the number of attacks in Iraq has grown, so that the weekly average is at its highest point in more than two years.

The AP says that the report "indicated the weekly average had approached 1,000 in the latest period, compared to about 800 per week from the May-to-August period. Statistics provided separately by the Pentagon said weekly attacks had averaged 959 in the latest period."

Sadly, it might be wisest to take this release with a grain of salt and remember that, according to the Iraq Study Group, the administration has long been underreporting the level of violence in Iraq. The ISG had pointed specifically to one day in which the administration had tallied 93 attacks; the ISG counted 1,100 and said that attack reporting had been collected in a way that would "[minimize] its discrepancy with policy goals."

Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

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Iraq Middle East Pentagon War Room