U.S. Casualties in Iraq Rise Sharply
Growing American Role in Staving Off Civil War Leads to Most Wounded Since 2004
By Ann Scott Tyson
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, October 10, 2006
The number of U.S troops wounded in Iraq has surged to its highest monthly level in nearly two years as American GIs fight block-by-block in Baghdad to try to check a spiral of sectarian violence that U.S. commanders warn could lead to civil war.
Last month, 776 U.S. troops were wounded in action in Iraq, the highest number since the military assault to retake the insurgent-held city of Fallujah in November 2004, according to Defense Department data. It was the fourth-highest monthly total since the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in March 2003.
The sharp increase in American wounded -- with nearly 300 more in the first week of October -- is a grim measure of the degree to which the U.S. military has been thrust into the lead of the effort to stave off full-scale civil war in Iraq, military officials and experts say. Beyond Baghdad, Marines battling Sunni insurgents in Iraq's western province of Anbar last month also suffered their highest number of wounded in action since late 2004.
**Meanwhile, John Warner, a top Republican Senator gives a grim assessment of situation in Iraq and suggests that the U.S. policy in Iraq has been a failure.
**James Baker, Former Secretary of State and advisor to numerous Presidents, is leading a Commission that will likely suggest a major change in the United States' Iraq policy.
Listen to James Baker in an NPR interview from this week.