People are dying in Iraq, both US and Iraqi, because of George Bush's domestic politics. Since the 2004 campaign, he has created a political situation where any real change in overall tactics is nearly impossible.
After blasting the Dems for years, he cannot reduce troop levels amidst the current violence without conceding the political point. At the same time, to increase troop numbers to the level required to meet his goals would be to admit that the original invasion force was too small.
That leaves the generals in Iraq with an impossible mission.
In Baghdad, US generals are expected to pacify Baghdad, a city of 6 million, the most dangerous city in the world, with 8,000 US troops
. (+ 30,000 Iraqi forces for whatever they're worth.) (Another source 7,200 US forces, 42,500 Iraqis
As a parallel, my city is Houston. Houston is somewhere between 3 million and 4.5 million people and has about 5,000+ police officers. (and they're desperately trying to recruit more.)
(As another perspective, after Katrina, New Orleans (probably less than 40,000 people?) got a deployment of 4,700 guardsmen to restore order.) Think about those numbers for a minute.
George Bush will not send more troops because politically, he can't. He won't withdraw troops because politically, he can't. So, the situation is "stay the course" asking the generals to win a war without the tools to do so.
The current Operation Forward Together is a perfect example. US troops are not concentrated in four neighborhoods because that's the best plan, it's because it's the best plan with the forces available.
One of the many reasons we're losing Iraq is because George Bush will not admit he was wrong.