Numbers vs. Meaning

A friend on Facebook posted a link to this chart on Allen B. West’s website.

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The implication from the article is that Obama’s leadership and policies have resulted in an unnecessarily high casualty rate in Afghanistan. But what Allen ignores in this little presentation is that these numbers are not matched to “the surge” strategy put in place in late 2009 through 2011. So the numbers of casualties increased, but so did the number of troops deployed in theater. This is why a raw number is less useful than a percentage rate. Just another example how data can be made to fit a story instead of being used to impart knowledge.

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