'Mission Accomplished,' Four Years Later

The moment is etched in America's collective memory: On May 1, 2003, the president landed on an aircraft carrier, in full flight gear with a "Mission Accomplished" sign flapping in the wind and announced the end of "major combat operations in Iraq."

It is easy to look back with the benefit of hindsight and critique President Bush's announcement. But we'll leave that to the pundits. Here, we take a look at the reality of how far we have come in Iraq -- or haven't -- in cold, hard numbers.

In May 2003 Bush had reason to be jubilant. Saddam Hussein had been ousted. Coalition forces were facing little opposition. The American public was largely supportive of the war, and of the president -- 71 percent approved of Bush's overall job performance, according to an ABC/Washington Post poll released May 1, 2003.

Today the numbers tell a different story. Bush's approval rating stands at 35 percent, according to the latest ABC/Washington Post poll from April 15, 2007, and that's just the tip of the iceberg. Here, a side-by-side comparison of key economic and military figures.

"Mission Accomplished" or "Mission Continued"? You decide:

ECONOMY

Iraq GDP (U.S. $billions):

2003: $14

2006: $49 (projected)

GDP Growth Rate:

2003: 47 percent

2007: 4 percent

Unemployment:

2003: 37 percent

2007: 33 percent

New businesses (according to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce):

2003: 8,000

2007: more than 34,000

Crude production (millions of barrels per day):

2003: 2.5 (estimated)

2007: 2.08

Crude export (millions of barrels per day):

2003: 1.7-2.5 (estimated)

2007: 1.5

DAILY LIFE

Electricity Supply (average megawatts):

2003: 3800

2007: 3500

Household Fuel Supplies (percent of estimated need):

2003: 78 percent

2007: 54 percent

Telephone Subscribers (in millions):

2003: 0.9

2007: 10.1

Internet Subscribers (Does not include unregulated users at Internet cafes):

2003: 4,500 (estimated)

2006: 197,310

Independent Newspapers and Magazines:

2003: 0

2006: 268

Ambulance drivers in Baghdad:

2003: 80

2007: 400

Elementary School Attendance Rate:

2004: 75 percent

2006: 30 percent

2007 Conditions:

Schools rehabilitated since 2003: 3,000

Hospitals built since invasion: 0

Doctors and pharmacists murdered: 200 (approximately)

Doctors who have fled abroad: 15,000 (approximately)

Access to clean drinking water: 32 percent

Access to a good sewage system: 19 percent

Number of Iraqis reporting multiple signs of possible traumatic stress: 70 percent

Iraqis without potable water in April 2003 who were provided drinkable water by U.S. efforts (according to the U.S. government): 5.35 million (approximately)

SECURITY

Strength of U.S. Forces:

2003: 122,000

2007: 142,000

Total Iraqi Forces (Police, National Guard, Iraqi Armed Forces and Border Patrol):

2003: 99,600

2007: 328,700

Estimated Strength of Insurgents:

2003: 4,000

2007: 70,000

Coalition/Iraqi Daily Patrols in Baghdad:

2003: 600

2007: 4,500

Iraqi Civilian Fatalities (all violent causes):

2003: 1,200

2007: 2,200

Internally displaced people in Iraq (cumulative figures):

2003: 100,000

2007: 650,000

2007 Conditions:

Iraqis who say someone in their own household has been harmed by current violence: 17 percent

Percentage of Iraqi professional class to leave the country since 2003 (as of June '06): 40 percent

Estimated number of Iraqis who have fled the country: 2,000,000

Iraqis who say they would leave the country if they could: 30 percent

Figures courtesy of Brookings Institution and ABC News except where otherwise noted.

Join the Discussion
You are using an outdated version of Internet Explorer. Please click here to upgrade your browser in order to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
You Might Also Like...