Encouraging Trends in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan

In an unusually formatted New York Times op-ed entitled The States of War, Ian Livingston, Heather Messera, and Michael O'Hanlon, all of the Brookings Institution, chart progress, or lack there of in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq through data on troop levels, coalition and civilian death totals, GDP growth rates, school enrollment and other measures of standard of living as well as local support for the United States, number of local forces trained and Afghan resistance leaders captured or killed. The bulk of the op-ed is made of a chart which, rather crudely, tracks progress over the past two years by noting numbers from April 2008, April 2009 and April 2010. The data, which are color coded to show progress, demonstrate, according to the authors, "gradual progress in Iraq, some headway in Pakistan and uncertainty in Afghanistan." While both civilian and coalition deaths are up in Afghanistan, the economy is growing rapidly and the Kabul government enjoys wide support.
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