Security Improvement? Fewer Deaths Recorded in Baghdad

Aug. 30, 2006 — -- The security clampdown in Baghdad may be working, as August brought violent deaths to their lowest level this year.

The Baghdad morgue reports 360 deaths compared with 995 a year ago, and much lower than in previous months (more than 1,000 deaths were reported on average from January through July). July was particularly violent, with 1,855 deaths.

Despite the encouraging August numbers, violent deaths have increased 73 percent in the city between January and July when compared with a year ago.

Shifting Violence

ABC News military analyst Anthony H. Cordesman believes that the coalition's security plan with the Iraqi government, called Together Forward, may have tempered the violence for a while as the insurgency regroups and waits out the clampdown.

"Without follow-up in terms of political settlement, government services and a rule of law, having troops 'pacify' a city normally has little lasting value," Cordesman said.

Cordesman also fears that violence will shift to other areas, especially now that more troops are in the capital.