Despite pessimism and the seemingly lowered expectations of the Obama administration, Max Boot explains that Afghanistan is nowhere near the highest levels of annual violence that Iraq experienced in 2006 and 2007, where monthly carnage was obscene:
Admittedly the situation there is serious but is it really “much tougher than Iraq” as suggested by the new presidential envoy Richard Holbrooke at the Munich Security Conference? According to the Brookings Afghanistan Index, 2,118 Afghan civilians died last year. (In this Los Angeles Times article, I mistakenly gave a slightly lower figure that was only for January-August 2008, not the whole year.) That’s bad but still nowhere as bad as Iraq at the height of the violence in 2006-2007 when more than 2,000 civilians were dying each month.