On Fox News Sunday today, when Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) was asked about his claim that 100 years in Iraq “would be fine” with him, he said “it’s not a matter of how long Americans stay, it’s a matter of American casualties.” “And those casualties are coming down,” added McCain.
McCain then declared that “we don’t need to have casualties” because of the “surge,” which he says is “experiencing significant success”:
One of the obligations, unfortunately of being a great superpower, is that we have to take care of the world’s security. But we don’t need to have casualties because we can succeed in this strategy called the surge, which is now, I think experiencing significant success.
Unfortunately, McCain’s claim that U.S. troop “casualties are coming down” is misleading happy talk. In reality, casualties actually increased this past month:
Not only did casualties increase in January, but the number of U.S. troops who “died from hostile action” was higher in January than the total number of casualties in December 2007.
In declaring “significant success” in Iraq, McCain appears to be using the Bush administration calculus that says increasing levels of violence are equal to “signs of success.”