Sunday, March 14, 2004

Casualties of the troop rotation 

I have written before of the rising risk of casualties during the massive troop rotation into and out of Iraq, which is at its peak just about now. New soldiers, unfamiliar with the territory, are coming into dangerous country and may represent softer targets than the battle-hardened veterans that are going home. And the veterans have their mind on home and hearth, and may not be as vigilent as they have been.

There are signs that, in fact, casualties are going up. Some of the most recent deaths have been of soldiers who have just arrived.

The press largely ignored the considerable decline in American casualties between mid-February and mid-March. We shall see how much it focuses on the rising KIA levels this week.

UPDATE: According to Stratfor's count, nine American soldiers have died in combat since March 10. That compares to one American KIA during the twenty days between February 19 and March 9. Is this just bad luck following good luck, is it the predictable result of the troop rotation, or are the fighters once against targeting American soldiers?


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