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Measuring Stability and Security in Iraq, September 2008

Published September 2008

This updated report covers the period of June-August 2008. The executive summary states, "improved this reporting period. Security incidents have remained at levels last seen in
early 2004 for nearly three consecutive months, while civilian deaths across Iraq have declined to a level 77% lower than the same period in 2007. The surge in Coalition forces, the
growth of more capable Iraqi Security Forces (ISF), the contributions of the Sons of Iraq
(SoI), the ability of forces to secure the population, operations against Al Qaeda in Iraq
(AQI) and other extremist elements, and the increased willingness of the people and the
Government of Iraq (GoI) to confront extremists are important factors that have
contributed to the improved security environment. Periodic high-profile car and
suicide vest bombings have occurred, but the number of these attacks and the resulting
casualties have decreased dramatically. Moreover, these attacks have not rekindled the
self-perpetuating cycle of ethno-sectarian violence that plagued Iraq in late 2006 and the
first half of 2007.

Coalition forces have drawn down significantly and the number of detainees held by the Coalition has been reduced by over 6,000 people. All five U.S. surge brigade combat
teams, two Marine battalions, the Marine Expeditionary Unit, an Australian battle group,
and the Georgian brigade have withdrawn. In addition, the Polish contingent will return home
in October 2008. The transfers to Provincial Iraqi Control (PIC) of Qadisiyah Province in
July 2008 and of Anbar Province on September 1, 2008 serve to highlight the security
achievements during the draw down of Coalition forces."

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