In a sign of how difficult things are going to be for newly-installed Defense Secretary Robert Gates, a Pentagon report released today shows that attacks in Iraq over the last three months have been the highest recorded over the course of the war. Adds the New York Times, “While the majority of attacks were directed at American forces, most of the casualties were suffered by the Iraqi military and civilians.”
As for the actual numbers, in the period of early August to early November, there were an average of 959 attacks (by insurgents, sectarian militias, etc.) every week against American and Iraqi targets. That’s 137 a day; roughly six per hour and one every 10 minutes.
For detailed information on Iraqi civilian deaths, see Iraq Body Count, one of the best sources of data on the subject. And for a Mother Jones story about Iraq Body Count’s strange saga, see “Dead Reckoning: Counting Iraq’s Civilian Dead.”