Violence in Iraq continues to rise in the wake of the March 7 parliamentary election, and the spike in deaths in February was not only maintained but slightly escalated in the month of March, which saw 367 Iraqis killed.
The death toll was not only the highest yet of 2010, but perhaps even more troubling was the fourth consecutive month in which the death toll topped the same month in the previous year, suggesting that the overall trend is toward increased violence.
Though still far from the enormous levels of earlier in the US war, the rising violence is a troubling trend, particularly coupled with last month’s inconclusive election and the rising tension among the various political factions in the nation.
It seems like the violence could also throw a monkey wrench into what hope remains that the Obama Administration will actually make good on its pledged August drawdown. Plan B, keeping the troops in the nation past the deadline, seems to be waiting in the wings, and the situation on the ground seems to be a recipe for doing just that.