Wednesday, May 4, 2011

April 2011 Shows That Deaths Have Hit A Plateau In Iraq

Deaths in Iraq have largely been stagnant since January 2009. In twenty of the last twenty-eight months the average number of daily deaths has been in single digits. That’s because many Iraqis have given up their arms and decided to try their hand at politics. April 2011 was another example of the current security situation in Iraq. 

Since 2009 the average number of deaths has hit a plateau. In 2009, there was an average of 10.1 deaths per day, compared to 20.2 the year before, and 67.0 per day in 2007. In 2010, the average death count dropped to 8.7 per day. There have been an average of 7.8 deaths since the beginning of 2011. In April for example, Iraq Body Count reported 283 deaths, icasualties had 152, and Iraq’s ministers reported 211. That averaged out to 214 deaths per month, and 7.1 per day. Casualties have flattened out for three important reasons. First, the sectarian civil war ended in 2008. Second, the government cracked down on Shiite militias in that year as well. Third, in January 2009 Iraq held provincial elections, and many Sunnis and insurgents decided join the political process after boycotting the 2005 vote. That has meant that while there are occasional spikes in violence due to some large terrorist attacks, month to month, year-to-year violence has leveled off since taking a huge drop from 2008 to 2009.


Iraqi Death Counts And Averages Last 12 Months


Iraq Body Count 
Icasualties
Iraqi Ministries
Avg. Monthly Deaths
Avg. Daily Deaths 
May 10 
377
279
337
331
10.6
Jun.
368
176
284
276
9.2
Jul.
430
534
535
499
16.1
Aug.
517
363
426
435
14.0
Sep.
252
174
273
233
7.7
Oct.
311
185
293
263
8.4
Nov.
302
174
171
215
7.1
Dec.
217
128
151
165
5.3
Jan. 11
387
210
259
285
9.2
Feb.
     250
216
167
211
7.5
Mar.
307
171
247
235
7.7
Apr.
283
152
211
214
7.1

SOURCES

Chaudhry, Serena, “Iraqi violent deaths, but injuries drop in April,” Reuters, 5/1/11

icasualties

International Crisis Group, “Iraq’s Provincial Elections: The Stakes,” 1/27/09

Iraq Body Count

2 comments:

Kirk said...

War sucks but the surge (started in mid 2007) worked when all else failed.

Joel Wing said...

It was definitely one factor for the reduction in violence. There were other factors involved as well such as the Shiites winning the civil war, the sectarian cleansing of Baghdad, Sadr's cease-fire, the growth of the Iraqi security forces and their greater efficiency. I don't think you can tell which one was more important than the other. They all happened just around the same time.