good news from Iraq
Very good news!! From The Brookings Institution via All Things Conservative blog:
1. Per Capita GDP (USD) for 2005 is forecast to increase from the previous year to $1,051. In 2002 it was $802.
2. Increases in GDP for the next five years: 16.8, 13.6, 12.5, 7.8, and 7.2.
3. Actionable tips from Iraqis have increased every month this year. In January, 4,025 tips were received; February, 4,235; and March, 4,578.
4. On an index of political freedom for countries in the Middle East, Iraq now ranks fourth, just below Israel, Lebanon, and Morocco.
5. Crude oil production reached 2.14 million barrels a day (MBD) in April of this year. It had dropped to 0.3 MBD in May of 2003.
6. Revenues from oil export have only slightly increased from pre-war levels of $0.2 billion, to $0.62 billion in April.
7. Electrical output is almost at the pre-war level of 3,958 megawatts. April's production was 3,600 megawatts. In May of 2003, production was only 500 megawatts. The goal is to reach 6,000 megawatts.
8. The unemployment rate in June of 2003 was 50-60%, and in April of this year it had dropped to 25-40%.
9. The number of U.S. military wounded has declined significantly from a high of 1,397 in November 2004 to 430 in April of this year.
10. Iraqi military casualties were 201 in April of 2006, after peaking at 304 in July of 2005.
11. As of December 2005, countries other than the U.S., plus the World Bank and IMF, have pledged almost $14 billion in reconstruction aid to Iraq.
12. Significant progress has also been made towards the rule of law. In May 2003 there were no trained judges, but as of October 2005 there were 351.
13. As of January 2006, 64% of Iraqis polled said that the country was headed in the right direction.
14. Also as of January 2006, 77% said that removing Saddam Hussein was the right thing to do.
15. In May of 2003, Iraqi Security Forces were estimated at between 7,000-9,000. They numbered 250,500 in March of this year.
16. The breakdown of foreign terrorists by country of origin is interesting. The largest number come from Algeria, at 20%. The next two countries are Syria and Yemen, at 18% and 17%, respectively.
17. The number of foreign terrorists fighting in Iraq was estimated at between 300 and 500 in January 2004. That number increased in April of this year, to between 700 and 2,000.
18. From May 2003 and April 2006, between 1,000 and 3,000 anti-Iraqi forces have been killed each month.
The Futurist has analysis.
The first notable projection is that Iraq's GDP will grow 16.8% in 2006 and 13.6% in 2007, making it the fastest growing economy in the world, and many times faster than the world average of around 4%. Many Iraqis are set to see their financial situations improve dramatically, and as stated by PR master Bill Clinton, "It's the Economy, Stupid". By 2010, Iraq will settle into a growth trend of about 7% a year, which is comparable to other developing countries in Asia, and thus a trajectory that exudes optimism. Plus, on the Index of Political Freedom, Iraq has the fourth highest score of the 20 countries in the region, and scores much higher than any of its neighboring countries, with Iran (16th), Saudi Arabia (18th), and Syria (19th) scoring much worse.Also at the Futurist, hopeful facts that we can look forward to no more conflict in Iraq if trends continue the way they are going. If you took a basic Poli Sci class in college you probably already know this stuff.
We can start with the observation that never have two democratic countries, with per-capita GDPs greater than $10,000/year, gone to war with each other. The decline in warfare in Europe and Asia corelates closely with multiple countries meeting these two conditions over the last few decades, and this can continue as more countries graduate to this standard of freedom and wealth.