Murphy's Law: Non-Violent Attacks In Iraq


March 31,2008: A standard U.S. benchmark of activity in Iraq is the number of daily attacks. This peaked at a little over 200 a day in the Summer of 2007. A third of those involved IEDs (roadside bombs). About half of those were bombs that went off, the other half were bombs discovered and destroyed. This activity has since declined to about 70 attacks a day in February. But about 60 percent of those were just IEDs, and two thirds of the IED activity consisted of finding and destroying the roadside bombs before they could be used on anyone. About a third of the attacks were what are normally thought of "attacks." That is, someone firing guns, RPGs or mortar shells at American or Iraqi troops.

The attacks most likely to made the news are the large suicide bombs, usually directed at civilians. These peaked in March, 2007, when there were 130 of them. This has since declined to about 40 a month. Moreover, many more of them are now smaller, usually individuals wearing bomb vests. For a long time, these were a minority of the attacks, usually 5-15 a month. But in the last few months, they are now about half the attacks.


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