Saturday, November 25, 2006

More AP Rubbish

Spot the lie. The ridiculous lie.

Print Story: More U.S. troops dying in Anbar province on Yahoo! News:
More U.S. troops dying in Anbar province

By LOLITA C. BALDOR, Associated Press Writer 5 minutes ago

In the three months since thousands of U.S. forces poured into Baghdad to quash escalating violence, far more American troops have died in Iraq's volatile western Anbar province than in the capital city.

More than two-thirds of the 245 U.S. casualties between Aug. 7, the start of the Baghdad offensive, and Nov. 7 occurred outside Baghdad — which military leaders have called the "center of gravity" of Iraq, and the key to success in the war. Four in 10 deaths over those three months have been in Anbar province, a Sunni insurgency stronghold where U.S. Marines have largely taken the lead.

Marines, who comprise only about 15 percent of the 141,000 U.S. forces currently in Iraq, accounted for nearly 28 percent of the fatalities over the three-month period.

[snip].

"Baghdad is the center of gravity for Iraq. We must get it right in Baghdad," Gen. Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said at the time. Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld added, "Most of the violence occurs within 30 kilometers of Baghdad."

In terms of actual U.S. casualties, the opposite was true.

[snip]

Little more than a week ago, the top U.S. commander in the Middle East, Gen. John Abizaid, acknowledged that the Sunni-dominated Anbar province was still not under control. Yet, military officials and Rumsfeld have often asserted that most of the violence in Iraq has been near Baghdad, and that the military effort must be centered there.

The problems in Anbar prompted U.S. military officials last week to move more than 2,200 additional Marines to the western province in a short-term effort to shore up U.S. combat power there.

[snip]

Overall, the U.S. Army — which has roughly 108,000 soldiers in Iraq — has borne the brunt of the deaths throughout the war, including 163 of the 245 deaths the AP looked at during the three-month period. There were 68 Marines killed during that time, along with seven Navy members and six in the Air Force, and one was unknown.

The most prevalent cause of death has remained the same across the country. Roadside bombs and other improvised explosive devices caused about 40 percent of the casualties, while another 13 percent were caused by small arms fire or snipers and 33 percent by unspecified combat incidents. Other causes of death included vehicle and helicopter crashes and non-combat incidents.

The high rate of Marine deaths is due in part to the fact that most are performing combat duties in the dangerous Anbar region. While the Army has a much larger presence in Iraq, some soldiers are serving in support roles or working in the headquarters units and are not doing combat duty.

Gen. James T. Conway, commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps, said this week that the decision to send more troops to Anbar is an effort to take advantage of "some of the momentum that is taking place. ... It is reinforcing success based on what we see the tribes doing."

Did you spot it? If you've ever served in an army any army I'll bet you spotted it immediately. Let's do a little rewrite. Let's change just one weasel word:

The high rate of Marine deaths is due in part to the fact that most are performing combat duties in the dangerous Anbar region. While the Army has a much larger presence in Iraq, some most soldiers are serving in support roles or working in the headquarters units and are not doing combat duty.

markfromireland

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