Saturday, February 26, 2005

War of Attrition

OK, as mentioned. First, from today's commentry, Cole informs us that
It also reported that the clerics of Ramadi issued a fatwa forbidding the killing of Muslims. This is a reference to the guerrilla attacks on Iraqi policemen.
This follows his comment the previous day (on the same theme, that:
AP reports that the one-day total for war-related violence in Iraq, including the police station bombing in Tikrit reported here yesterday morning, came to 30. That is about 11,000 persons a year if the rate were constant and extrapolated out. In fact, the wire services manage to report only a fraction of daily deaths from war-related violence. And, of course there is a sense in which a lot of the murders are an indirect result of the poor security produced by the guerrilla war.
those are serious numbers. Worth looking at. See, the killing isn't entirely random - obviously many by-standers and civilians are getting killed, but many of the dead are police and army recruits.

OK, back to the CIA. Total population of Iraq is 25,374,691 (July Est.) of which 3,654,947 are deemed to be fit for military service. About 1.1 million of these will be culturally Sunni. With 304,527 reaching military age annually (again about a third Sunni). With unemployment at about 70% most of that number will be available to recruit.

So the slaughter is about 0.1% of the total available force, if that shows up. Further, it is localised, so in some areas it may be much higher as a ratio. I can't, off the back of these figures, though, see it succeeding as a tactic.

The occupation has happened, killing workers is futile, peace is needed to restore the class struggle. I'll just note though, mysteriously enough, that the CIZ Factbook lists america as the lead importer of Iraqi goods, a whopping 48.8% - wonder what that could be?

EXTRA: Having found the fighting age section of the factbook, I should add that the US estimates that 73 million males 18-49 are in the country, so that gives us a possible capitalist insurgent pool of about 735,000 - much smaller and reassuringly more manageable. Sorry for any inconvenience caused by bad facts. But you could bet there'd be some old buzzards with a shotgun willing to join that...


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