Saturday, June 07, 2008

Iraq: Best Month Yet

Here is our latest monthly highly abbreviated version of the Iraq Index, published and updated twice a week by Michael O'Hanlon of the Brookings Institution:

Americans Killed in Action, Iraq (monthly average)
2003: 32
2004: 59
2005: 56
2006: 58
2007: 63
2008: 30
May: 15

Americans Killed in Action, Vietnam (monthly average)
1965: 128*
1966: 420
1967: 767
1968: 1140
1969: 785
1970: 413
* = First U.S. combat troops arrived in Vietnam, 5.3.65
Vietnam table compiled by Galen Fox using Defense Department sources.

Crude Oil Production (m. bbls./day)

Prewar Peak: 2.50
Goal: 2.20 (Revised upward, 1/08)
actual: 2.50 (5/08)

Electricity (megawatts)

Prewar: 3,958
Goal: 6,000
actual: 4,130 (5/08)

Since our last monthly report, the monthly American KIA total fell dramatically from 49 in April to 15, the second lowest total for any month of the Iraq war. The KIA total was up in April in support of al Maliki's apparently successful effort to reduce the power of outlaw Shiite militias in Baghdad and Basra. Maliki's success has in turn brought the low level of violence seen in May. The low May KIA total for Americans has made 2008, thus far averaging only 30, the war's best year for average monthly KIA. [Please note: the number of KIA is almost always lower than the media-reported total of American deaths, which covers all causes, including non-hostile. Our Iraq and Vietnam figures are KIA only.]

In April, oil output jumped from 2.40 to 2.50 million barrels a day, the second highest monthly total ever. Revenue from oil exports continues to hit all-time highs, with May's total the highest on record, and $1 billion above April's. As with oil, output for electricity increased, growing from 4,030 megawatts in April to 4,130 megawatts in May. May's output was the highest for any May since the war began. Electricity output remains above the 4,000 megawatt threshold; significant because Iraq needs 8,500 megawatts to meet its demand, and gets from 2,000 to 4,500 megawatts from privately-owned generators.

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