Sunday, September 21, 2008

Alternate methodologies...


Beyond simply looking at the numbers of dead and wounded over time, some folks are trying to think of creative, alternative methodologies to evaluate how/if the surge has worked. Earlier, this blogger had referenced a September 2007 paper written by an economist, which attempted to evaluate the surge by examining trends in a number of indices ranging from military and civilian casualties, to the availability of electricity, to oil production, and the performance of Iraqi bonds...

Another recent creative attempt uses satellite imagery to determine the amount of light emitted from various Baghdad neighborhoods over time. Quote: Night light in neighborhoods populated primarily by embattled Sunni residents declined dramatically just before the February 2007 surge and never returned, suggesting that ethnic cleansing by rival Shiites may have been largely responsible for the decrease in violence for which the U.S. military has claimed credit, the team reports in a new study based on publicly available satellite imagery. "Essentially, our interpretation is that violence has declined in Baghdad because of intercommunal violence that reached a climax as the surge was beginning," said lead author John Agnew, a UCLA professor of geography and authority on ethnic conflict. "By the launch of the surge, many of the targets of conflict had either been killed or fled the country, and they turned off the lights when they left."




UCLA study of satellite imagery casts doubt on surge's success in Baghdad

 
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