According to a new study released by Johns Hopkins University, 655,000 Iraqis have been killed since the U.S.-led invasion in 2003 -- much higher than previously estimated, although the numbers have been disputed. A reporter in Baghdad provides an update on the death toll and other developments in Iraq.
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Borzou Daragahi, welcome. Reporting coming out of Iraq, including your own, features pitched combat between American and Iraqi forces and armed opponents. Who's fighting back?
BORZOU DARAGAHI, Los Angeles Times:
Well, I mean, for some time now, you've had this ongoing insurgency. The Sunni-Arab resistance, as they call themselves, has been fighting both the U.S. troops and the Shiite and Kurdish-dominated Iraqi government.
It was very interesting, though. Yesterday, I was in a so-called insurgent stronghold in west Baghdad, and it seemed to me — and it seems to U.S. officials and Iraqi residents in this particular area, called Amiriyah — is that the sort of modified presence of U.S. troops in this area, in a sort of peacekeeping mode, rather than a combat mode, has managed to bring some measure of calm and stability to this once-troubled area.
Once areas are pacified, do they stay that way? Or do American troops and other forces have to return again and again?
You know, I mean, that's a really good point, and that's — even some commanders, U.S. commanders on the ground, acknowledge quite openly that they don't have enough troops to keep control over all of their areas. And they acknowledge that, yes, you know, we've got this area under control at the cost of leaving another area uncovered. And so it's really a game of Whack-a-Mole.