Thanks to the chilling but excellent Iraq Coalition Casualty Count website, we know how many American military personnel (and British and other coalition troops) die every month in Iraq. (See diagram below) It is a tragic reminder of just how badly wrong this war has gone for the U.S. and her allies. The shocking facts are that 3,760 American servicemen and women have been killed in Iraq since March 2003. Around 27,000 have been badly wounded. And all of this is quite aside from the 169 British troops killed, and 129 other coalition soldiers. And quite apart from coalition military deaths are the deaths of “insurgents”, civilians, militia men, and the Iraqi police and army: probably totalling many tens of thousands, if not over 100,000 (no reliable figure exists and they even range as high as the Lancet’s 650,000, although this has been shown to be probably exaggerated.)
But the coalition military statistics are the only reliable ones emerging from Iraq. So they are the figures we all have to use.
Is there any pattern from the death rates? None that I can discern, aside from the obvious fact that they’re certainly not going down. In fact, for every month of 2007 so far, the number of deaths have exceeded the number of deaths from the prior year in the same month.
A recent quote from President Bush: “Anbar is a huge province. It was written off as lost. It is now one of the safest places in Iraq.”
So safe in fact, that his trip had to be made completely unannounced. His plane had to spiral down to land on an extreme steep flight path to avoid possible missiles. And he remained inside a huge army base for the entire length of his stay. And, and while I’m on the topic, did we ever hear Bush admit before that “[Anbar] was written off as lost”!! Of course not. We never heard him admit that before, but clearly he is now saying it was written off as lost! Was that defeatist?
Tragically, for both the U.S. and Iraq, the war is nowhere near finished.