Iraq by the numbers: Graphing the decrease in violence

Multinational Forces-Iraq has released the data of the effects of the "surge" on the security situation. The reduction in deaths, attack trends, sectarian violence, and improvised explosive device, suicide, and car bomb attacks is dramatic. The number of weapons caches found per year has more than doubled. The graphs below have been provided by Multinational Forces Iraq. Click each graph to view in detail.

The weekly attack trends are now down to or below 2004 levels, with fewer than 600 attacks overall reported per week. These numbers include ineffectual attacks. The number peaked during the summer of 2007, with almost 1,600 attacks in one week in June. Click map to view.

The number of deaths per month nationwide is down to January 2006 levels, at about 600 per month. The numbers peaked in December 2006, with about 3,000 deaths per month. Click to view.

High-profile attacks: Suicide car and vest bombs, and car bombs, are down from a peak of near 130 per month to about 30 per month, the lowest level since May 2006. Click to view.

The number of IED attacks are now at 2004 levels, with roughly 20 per day. This is down from the peak of 60 per day in May of this year, when the surge was peaking. Click to view.

The sectarian violence in Baghdad has decreased dramatically over the past year. Areas that were hotspots now are quiet. Click to view.

The number of weapons caches discovered increased by almost two and a half times from 2006 to 2007. Click to view.


READER COMMENTS: "Iraq by the numbers: Graphing the decrease in violence"

Posted by LT Nixon at December 17, 2007 1:32 PM ET:

The Cache finds have been huge and help explain the sharp drops in IED attacks. The civilian deaths declining has been huge in giving the Iraqis confidence to go out and spruce up their neighborhoods and open their shops, which helps with the counter-insurgency effort. I'm used to seeing these just not on blogs. Thanks for posting them, since you can say whatever you want about the war, but you can't argue with statistics.

Posted by Neo at December 17, 2007 3:07 PM ET:

nIn a word, FANTASTIC!

All indicators are significantly positive. You just can't fake trends like that. Some may still argue that this is a dirty little war that isn't worth it, but they can't argue that things aren't improving remarkably.

I would suggest to anyone new here, who might be skeptical about the metrics used, go back through the last six months of specific events in Iraq. Bill's careful tracking of events fully backs these latest positive numbers.

Why should I be so enthusiastic? I really to want things go better for everyone involved, especially the Iraqi's. Finally there is some reason to think we are seeing the beginning of the end. Hopefully the shortest route out of Iraq is success.

Posted by Cordell at December 17, 2007 4:00 PM ET:


Could you possibly find or create a graph showing US, other coalition, Iraqi Army, Iraqi Police and CLC troop strength over the last three years? It would be interesting to see whether the improvements shown in the other charts are related more to boots on the ground or to any change in strategy. It may also reinforce your view that the real and lasting surge is in Iraqi forces and serve a telltale sign that the reduction in violence is sustainable.

Posted by burnitup at December 17, 2007 10:48 PM ET:

God Bless Our Troops!
Victory then Peace

Posted by Hamidreza at December 17, 2007 11:15 PM ET:

After clicking on the detailed graphs, they are still too small to read. Having cable, I can easily handle 1 MB per chart. Is it possible to get a larger chart for the Baghdad neighbourhood? Thanks.

Posted by Bill Roggio at December 17, 2007 11:20 PM ET:


I don't have that data, but can ask. The CLCs are are recent creation.


That is the the largest size I have, unfortunately.

Posted by cjr at December 18, 2007 1:31 AM ET:

Here is US strength over time:

Posted by Chris at December 18, 2007 7:21 AM ET:

Can you find a graph that shows the number of iraqi casualties caused by coalition forces vs. the number caused by ieds, suicide car bombs, assasinations. The pacifist left attributes all civilian deaths to US and coalition actions. That is not true, but it is hard to refute.

Posted by Jesse at December 18, 2007 11:21 AM ET:

Thank you for giving us the actual perspective of what is going on over in Iraq. The troops efforts and dedication is not going unnoticed and we will achieve victory. Let's hope these graphs are signs that things will continue to improve and that we will be able to get our troops home as soon as possible.

Posted by David M at December 18, 2007 1:18 PM ET:

The Thunder Run has linked to this post in the - Web Reconnaissance for 12/18/2007 A short recon of what's out there that might draw your attention, updated throughout the check back often.

Posted by Martino at December 18, 2007 4:07 PM ET:

Aside from these very positive trends, it is easy to spot the progress in Iraq. The front pages of major dailys are not plastered with bad news, and Sens. Reid and Schumer have stopped counting new potential seats. Either way, Herculean efforts by our troops and the bravery of Iraqis to face those who would destroy their country, one family at a time, are paying off.

Posted by ajacksonian at December 18, 2007 4:52 PM ET:

I have been pointing out for over a year that the 'insurgency' is equipment rich, but man poor. Equipment is, as any HR manager will tell you, the cheap part of running any operation. Getting skilled individuals to do the work is the expensive part of things. Bombs, guns and ammo are cheap... guards are expensive. That metric is the same for running a soup kitchen, a terrorist organization, a Fortune 500 company...

Someone had lots of money to put into equipment, but wasn't able to hire people to guard it. That weapons cache total is the end result: almost 50% of all caches found since 2004 have been in the last 11 months. The logistics of the insurgency has collapsed and that has been the trend since AUG 06.

Its not victory, but anyone wanting to really start things up again will have to bring an army with them, not just a few handfuls of guys with moneybags. Lets hope we can find the will to keep holding on and let no breath back into it.