Friday, September 17, 2004

Envelope Backs

From watching the news one could safely assume that Iraq is a nation up in arms and that the situation is spiraling out of control. One could assume from continuing Coalition causalities that opposition to the Coalition is widespread and popular.

How can we test that idea? Well, we could try a few back-of-the-envelope type calculations to try to get at least a sense of the magnitude of the problem.

Iraq is a nation of roughly 25,000,000 (twenty-five million)

If 1% of the population was willing to take up arm against the Coalition, that would mean an active insurgency of 250,000 (two hundred fifty thousand). That’s roughly 1.5 insurgents for every Coalition soldier in-country.

If 1% of those insurgents attacked the Coalition on any given day it would mean that 2,500 (twenty-five hundred) insurgents would be attacking every day.

If 1% of those insurgents managed to kill a Coalition soldier, that would mean Coalitions causalities would run at a rate of 25 (twenty-five) dead a day.

The Coalition actually loses around 3 killed per day.

Working from above backwards, that implies that the number of insurgents attacking Coalition per day is around 300 (three hundred).

That implies that the total active insurgency is comprised of 30,000 (thirty thousand) individuals.

(That’s an upper bound by the way)

That means that the percentage of the Iraqi population actively resisting the Coalition is somewhere around 0.12%

Wow, were obviously doomed. Time to throw in the towel I say.