The quarterly Pentagon report "Measuring Stability and Progress in Iraq" was released on Wednesday. Some notes:
• 80 percent of the attacks from November through January were concentrated in four provinces; Baghdad, Anbar, Diyala and Salah ad Din
• The total number of attacks on and casualties suffered by coalition forces, the (Iraqi security forces) and Iraqi civilians for the October through December (2006) reporting period were the highest for any three-month period since 2003
• Coalition forces attract the majority of attacks, but Iraqi security forces and Iraqi civilians suffer most of the casualties.
• Iran and Syria are contributing factor to instability
• In Baghdad, Diyala and Balad, the violence is centered on sectarian divisions and competition for resources. Crime also enters the violence equation in Baghdad.
• Some elements of the situation in Iraq are properly descriptive of a ‘civil war'
• 16 percent of the city's residents say that their current income meets their basic needs
• Inflation in 2006 averaged 50 percent
• "The GOI must, with Coalition and international help, create an effective strategy to provide jobs."