Air Ops Increase—by Factor of Five:

It has been apparent for some weeks now that airpower forces have been getting a vigorous workout in Iraq, more than in years. As if to confirm that, Bradley Graham of the Washington Post reported Dec. 24 that, this fall, the average month rate of air strikes were five times greater than the rate of earlier in the year—122 in October and 120 in November, compared to 25 in prior months. Why? According to the Post, some officers noted that there had been more ground offensives recently. However, others think it possible that the military is shifting subtly to airpower as a way of reducing exposure of US ground forces to hostile fire. Anybody’s guess.