Study: Surge in ethnic cleansing led to reduced violence in Iraq.

A new study released today by the University of California, Los Angeles concludes that ethnic violence — not the Bush administration’s surge — was the primary factor in reducing violence in Iraq. As FP Passport notes, researchers used satellite imagery from the Pentagon to track “electricity use in Iraq before, during, and after the surge took place”:

If the surge had truly ‘worked,’ we would expect to see a steady increase in night-light output over time,” says Thomas Gillespie, one of the co-authors, in a press release. “Instead, we found that the night-light signature diminished in only certain neighborhoods, and the pattern appears to be associated with ethno-sectarian violence and neighborhood ethnic cleansing.”


Last year, the Government Accountability Office also said that “there might be fewer attacks because you have ethnically cleansed neighborhoods, particularly in the Baghdad area.” Similarly, in April, CNN’s Michael Ware told ThinkProgress that if “anyone is telling you that the cleansing of Baghdad has not contributed to the fall in violence, then they either simply do not understand Baghdad or they are lying to you.” More here Iraq’s unresolved tensions.