According to the MNC-I data there has been no improvement since either December (The numbers Petraeus and the Administration often cite) or February (when the surge actually began). Why wasnât Congress shown these numbers in the presentation by General Petraeus? Why only the good news numbers? Why the lack of clarity on Petraeusâs sourcing? Especially since he himself acknowledged that the best numbers come from the MNC-I database.
In terms of actual anomalies
Anomaly A: Somehow in December, the month that is always cited by the Pentagon and the Administration, Petraeusâs Iraqi dead is actually greater than the MNC-I Iraqi Dead + Wounded. That makes absolutely no sense. You canât have more dead than dead and wounded combined.
Anomaly B: In the months after the surge begins Petraeusâs Iraqi dead numbers are significantly lower than the dead + wounded numbers in the Pentagon report. This is inconsistent with the entire history of the previous year, where the numbers track closely. The only explanation would be a dramatic increase in the wounded to dead ratio. Perhaps there were more car bombings that injured people but didnât kill them, as opposed to close range executions where victims do not survive. Or maybe there is another explanation. Still it seems inconsistent to see this major split just as the surge begins.
I heard some encouraging news yesterday from U.S. Central Command on my Freedom of Information Act request to see Petraeus' command's definition of sectarian violence and casualties. More to come on this later.