Military


Notes on Casualties in Iraq

Of every one-hundred men, ten shouldn't even be there,
eighty are nothing but targets, nine are real fighters...
We are lucky to have them, they make the battle...
AH but ONE, one of them is a Warrior...
he will bring the others back
Heraclitus c. 500 B.C.

A total of 385 Americans were killed in action in the Spainish American War of 1898 [Deaths due to other causes totalled 2,061, and 1,662 received non-fatal wounds]. During Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm, a total of 148 Americans were killed in action and 235 American troops died as a result of non-hostile causes. The total number of US personnel killed in action during Operation Iraqi Freedom rose to 385 on 16 Mar 2004 and then to 387 on 17 Mar 2004 -- surpassing the Spanish American War on the eve of the first anniversary of the war in Iraq.

On September 7, 2004, the Associated Press reported that the 1,000 US Dead in Iraq Milestone had been reached. In doing so, it took into account 999 US military casualties as well 3 contractors working for DoD. This differs from the way we tabulate our count, as we do not keep track of contractors operating in Iraq. Taking them into account would require that we begin to track the numerous contractors operating in Iraq and possibly not directly employed by DoD; an almost impossible task. Despite this shortcoming, the 1,000 US death in Iraq mark had, by our count, already been reached by the time of the Republican convention, taking into account a number of U.S. casualties who still do not appear to have been identified. As of 07 September 2004 at least 16 additional deaths have been reported since the beginning of September, though the names had not been released, pending notification of next of kin. Still left unresolved is the issue of US deaths for which annnouncements have been made in prior months but who still do not appear to have been identified formally by the US Department of Defense.

Dead - Methodology

At times our total count can be rather larger than the numbers reported by some news organizations. We list a number of people as unidentified pending notification of next of kin. We count people as soon as they get killed, while others wait until they are named. As of the end of August 2004 we had nearly three dozen that remained "unidentified." Surely many of these are due to some point of confusion in the initial reports, but we are having a real hard time figuring out which ones. If anyone can spot any duplicates, please let us know.

As of late April 2004 we counted three deaths [17 Jan 2004, 17 Feb 2004 and 02 Mar 2004] that were still unidentified, as well as over two dozen unidentified from April 2004. As of late August 2004, after rechecking and cross-checking the available data, this number was reduced to a dozen unidentified for April. In addition, eight casualties were still unidentified for May, two for June and seven for the month of July. In most cases we had pretty high-quality reporting at the time that these deaths had occurred, and in our experience it can take a week or ten days to notify next of kin and publish the name.

In other cases, it can take some time to dis-ambiguate separate and disparate reports of a single incident. April was the cruelest month, and by the end of the month the Pentagon had named 120 who had been killed, while we counted over 150 deaths. With closer analysis, we were able to conclude that some of the apparent 35 unidentifieds were probably multiple reports of single incidents.

Our methodology for keeping track of Americans who have died in Iraq is to create an initial entry as soon as we learn of the death, with a placeholder "Unidentified [U/I] pending notification of next of kin" for the service members name. The two primary official sources are CENTCOM Casualty Data and MNF-I/MNC-I(formerly CJTF-7) News Releases. Additional information can also be gathered from other media reports. In the normal course of events, the name will be released a few days later by the Pentagon's Press Resources page. Another source is the Military Casualty Information page. While it is generally possible to match the date and event vignette of the initial report with the data included when the name is released, a number of problems nevertheless arise in trying to form an accurate count of US casualties in Iraq.

The first problem is that there is no single authoritative source of information for the initial reports. Experience demonstrates, that both CENTCOM and MNF-I/MNC-I sources provide incomplete reports, since there are a number of service members whose names have been released after their death but for which there was no initial incident report from CENTCOM or CJTF-7. There are also instances in which the dates can be off by a day or two.

Matters are further complicated by the tendency of the initial news release to mention the regional command echelon [eg "Task Force Danger"] whereas the final news release identifies the exact unit, without reference to the regional command.

Another complication arises in situations where the incident vignettes are at substantial variance. The absence of clarity is at times in part due to "... force protection measures preclude the release of any information that could aid enemy personnel in assessing the effectiveness or lack thereof with regard to their tactics, techniques and procedures. The release of more details about the incident could place our personnel at greater risk." [USMC news release boilerplate] Moreover, the official release by DoD will either contain information that was not available in the initial casualty notice, or information about the incident that differs from the original announcement. The task is further complicated by the locations of where the incidents took place, with the same location being sometimes identified differently according to the source. This can be either through different spellings(eg.:Balad Ruz/Baladruc or Buhritz/Barez), or through instances where the initial release indicates an approximative location while the official DOD casualty release will indicate the location differently.

While we make every diligent effort to reconcile the casualties' name with the original incident notice, it is nonetheless possible for a few casualties to have been doublecounted. This is in contrast to the official DoD count, which appears to undercount US casualties and account for them only once the next-of-kin have been notified and the names publicly released. Casualties whose next-of-kin are not notified or cannot be contacted/located do not therefore appear to be counted in the official tally.

Additionally, an April 27, 2004, story titled "The Lasting Wounds Of War: Roadside Bombs Have Devastated Troops and Doctors Who Treat Them" by Karl Vick and published in the Washington Post, page 1, mentioned instances where US casualties, having suffered extensive brain-damage and with no prospect of regaining consciousness, are sent home for families to decide whether or not to terminate life support. According to the article, "The practice, subject to review after gathering feedback from families, assumes that loved ones will find value in holding the soldier's hand before confronting the decision to remove life support." It is not immediately apparent the extent to which these casualties are accounted for in the official DoD casualties count.

The Army releases monthly summaries of the number of soldiers who are evacuated from Iraq for treatment outside the theater for various medical reasons, broadly defined as Wounded In Action, Non-Battle Injury, and Disease. As of 31 July 2004 this total number had risen to over 13,000. The Marine Corps makes no such number public, but based on a guesstimate of the number of Marines who have served in theater their numbers would probably be over 1,000 but not as many as 2,000.

As best as we can tell from DOD announcements, as of 01 September 2004 a total of ten US service members died following evacuation from Iraq

  1. Sgt. Linda C. Jimenez fell and was injured Oct. 31, 2003, died Nov. 8, 2003, at Walter Reed Army Medical Center [WRAMC].
  2. Sgt. Ryan C. Young died Dec 2, 2003 of injuries received on Nov. 8 from IED in Fallujah.
  3. Specialist Luke Frist died 05 Jan 2004 in Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio from burns suffered after a truck he was riding in struck a land mine in Iraq
  4. Spc. James J. Holmes died May 8 in Landstuhl, Germany, from injuries sustained on May 3 in Iraq when an improvised explosive device detonated near the driver side of his military vehicle.
  5. Staff Sgt. William D. Chaney Died 18 May 2004 in Landstuhl, Germany due to a non-combat related injury. Initial reports indicate that Chaney was medically evacuated from Iraq to Germany for surgery due to a sudden medical condition. He died from complications after surgery
  6. Staff Sgt. Stephen G. Martin died 01 July 2004 at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C., from injuries sustained in Mosul, Iraq, on June 24 when a car bomb exploded near his guard post.
  7. Staff Sgt. Paul C. Mardis, Jr. Died 15 July 2004 in Washington, D.C., from injuries sustained on May 20 in Mosul, Iraq, when his vehicle was struck by an improvised explosive device
  8. Lance Cpl. Mark E. Engel died 21 July 2004 at Brook Army Medical Center, Fort Sam Houston, Texas, of wounds he received as result of enemy action on July 6 in Al Anbar Province, Iraq
  9. Spc. Donald R. McCune died August 5, in Landstuhl, Germany, of injuries sustained when an improvised explosive device detonated near his patrol on August 4 in Balad, Iraq
  10. Capt. Andrew R. Houghton died 09 Aug 2004 at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, DC, of injuries sustained on July 10 in Ad Dhuha, Iraq, when a rocket propelled grenade detonated near his vehicle.

DOD Instruction 7730.22, ("Reports of U.S. Casualties in Combat Areas," January 20, 1967, and March 20, 1973) provided that the Vietnam casualties to be reported were all those occurring within the designated combat areas and those deaths occurring anywhere as the result or aftermath of an initial casualty occurring in a combat area. The current related document, Military Personnel Casualty Matters, Policies, and Procedures" DoD Instruction 1300.18, December 18, 2000, is simply silent on this critical matter.

It is somewhat difficult to imagine that nearly 15,000 people were sufficiently sick or injured to require evacuation from the theater, but that only ten of them subsequently succumbed to the condition that required their evacuation. Overall, the ratio between wounded to killed-in-action is running about ten to one -- about 7,000 wounded in action with over 700 killed in action. The ratio of those evacuated due to combat wounds [over 1,500 as of 01 August 2004] to those who died subsequent to evacuation [eight reported], presents a ratio on the order of two-hundred to one, which is puzzling. It is also puzzling that over 4,000 were evacuated due to non-battle injuries, but only two subsequently died and that over 7,000 were evacuated due to disease, but that none of them died.

Wounded/Injured/Ill - Methodology

As of 01 April 2004 the Defense Department reported that 3022 US service members had been wounded in action [WIA] with an additional 444 non-hostile wounded, for a total of 3,466. On 02 April 2004 DOD changed the reporting format, and reported 190 Non-Hostile wounded, 1910 Wounded In Action (WIA) and 2988 WIA Not Returned to Duty (w/in 72 hours), for a total of 4,088. By 06 April 2004 DOD had adjusted these totals to 190 Non-Hostile wounded, 1078 Wounded In Action (WIA) and 1910 WIA Not Returned to Duty (w/in 72 hours), for a total of 3,178 including 2,988 WIA.

As of 09 April 2004 DOD was no longer reporting the "Non-Hostile Wounded" category, but reported a total of 1137 Wounded In Action (WIA) and 2132 WIA Not Returned to Duty (w/in 72 hours), for a total of 3,269 WIA. It is impossible to reconcile these various reports, though it may be arbitrarily assumed that at least 281 soldiers were wounded in action during the first eight days of April 2004.

A Nonhostile Casualty is defined [DoD Instruction 1300.18, section E2.1.1.26] as "A person who becomes a casualty due to circumstances not directly attributable to hostile action or terrorist activity. Casualties due to the elements, self-inflicted wounds, and combat fatigue are nonhostile casualties."

Wounded in Action (WIA) is defined [DoD Instruction 1300.18, E2.1.1.37] as "A casualty category applicable to a hostile casualty, other than the victim of a terrorist activity, who has incurred an injury due to an external agent or cause. The term encompasses all kinds of wounds and other injuries incurred in action, whether there is a piercing of the body, as in a penetration or perforated wound, or none, as in the contused wound. These include fractures, burns, blast concussions, all effects of biological and chemical warfare agents, and the effects of exposure to ionizing radiation or any other destructive weapon or agent. The hostile casualty status may be VSI, SI, III, or NSI."

In principle, the Pentagon began releasing wounded-in-action [WIA] numbers on Friday [prior to April these numbers were released every week day]. In practice, the numbers released on Friday 30 April 2004 turned out to be the same numbers that had been released the previous Friday, so April WIA numbers remained an estimate].

Subsequently, the Pentagon began releasing updated wounded-in-action [WIA] numbers on Wednesday.

The Pentagon practice of releasing wounded casualty statistics once a week makes it impossible to obtain a precise count of monthly casualty numbers. Our method is to simply subtract the total numbers reported on the last day of each month, producing an approximate estimate. The fine folks at the Iraq Coalition Casualties have a different method of counting monthly wounded than we use. They are simply replicating the DOD Casualty by Month numbers, which produce different results than the weekly numbers. The problem is that the months don't end on Fridays. Our approach is to compare the WIA number for the last day of a month with the WIA number from the last day of the previous month. The other problem is that the DOD monthly numbers take two or three weeks to be updated, by which time they are old news [as of 05 Sep 2004, the DOD numbers had not been updated since 14 Aug 2004, at which point the WIA number was 382, which would have led the casual observer to believe that August had been slow, when in fact it was not]. The end-of-the-month method produces 851 WIA for April 2004, while DOD's number is 1196.

At the end of 2004 we adjusted our methodology to reflect the DOD Casualty by Month numbers. But the DOD daily casualty status report indicates a total of 9,552 wounded in action as of 01 December 2004, while the Washington Headquarters Service indicated 9,713 through the end of November 2004. We increment our WIA estimate by taking the daily reports, and incrementing them from the 9,552 number.

Psychiatric Casualties / Combat Stress

In 2003, 24 soldiers deployed to Kuwait and Iraq committed suicide - a rate of 17.3 per 100,000. The overall Army suicide rate during the same time period was 12.8 per 100,000 soldiers. This compares to the Army's rate of 12.2 for 2003 and 11.9 from 1995 to 2002.

A new US Army study released in July 2004 found that, as in previous wars, soldiers in Iraq are paying an emotional price for the fighting. The study of 6,000 US soldiers showed that nearly one out of every five returning from Iraqi combat experiences anxiety, depression, or post-traumatic stress disorder. That is almost twice the pre-deployment rate. In Afghanistan, where fighting is less fierce, the study finds that mental health problems are less prevalent. The research performed at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center, appearing in the New England Journal of Medicine, suggests that the US military must continue to fight the stigma attached to mental health. This study estimated are that 17 percent of soldiers coming home from Iraq and Afghanistan suffered from PTSD, along with anxiety and depression. For Gulf War vets, PTSD rates hover at 9 percent.

By the end of July 2004 the Army had evacuated over 800 "Psychiatric" casualties from Iraq. Of these, Depression accounted for 385 [47.0% of psychiatric Disease occurrences]; Adjustment disorder for 34 [4.1% of psychiatric]; and Suicidal ideation 32 [3.9% of psychiatric]. The source of the other 45% of psychiatric evacuations was not specified.

US Army FM 6-22.5 "COMBAT STRESS" notes "Rates of combat stress casualties vary greatly, with higher ratios during lengthy periods of intense combat. In Okinawa 1945, during a peak month of battle, the combat stress casualties among Marine Forces were reported as high as one for every two wounded in action (WIA). Under less lengthy periods, as suggested by data acquired from the Israeli Defense Forces fighting in Lebanon 1982, the ratio of combat stress casualties to WIA in small units can be as high as one to one. In the past, we have generally suffered as many as one battle stress casualty for every three to five WIA in heavy fighting. ... During the 1942-45 period in the European Theater, there was a ratio of one combat stress casualty for every three WIA."

With about 7,000 US troops wounded in action by 01 September 2004, these ratios would suggest that the total number of combat stress casualties might be in the range of about 1,400 [one-to-five ratio] to 2,300 [one-to-three ratio].

This manual also notes [pages 51 & 54] that "Management of combat stress reactions is unlike the treatment of physical trauma. Severely injured Service members are stabilized as rapidly as possible and then transferred to the rear. In all wars since World War I, combat stress casualties treated in the rear rarely return to full duty. In contrast, when the same casualties are treated near the front, approximately 75 percent return to full duty. Of those returned to full duty, only 10 percent experience continued symptoms requiring further treatment. Some studies suggest half of those treated at the rear go on to have chronic psychiatric symptoms, and approximately half return to full duty. Therefore, it is clearly in the Service member's best interest to be treated at the front and returned to duty. This also serves the best interest of the unit because it receives a veteran Service member back to duty, rather than breaking in a replacement. ... If treated near their units, 65 to 85 percent of combat stress casualties treated in medical CSC facilities return to duty within 1 to 3 days. About 15 to 20 percent more return to duty in 1 to 2 weeks. Only 5 to 10 percent are sent home, and these usually have other problems in addition to combat stress reactions."

Observations

Operation Iraqi Freedom began on 20 March 2003. President Bush declared an end to major combat operations in Iraq on 01 May 2003. The single worst day of Major Combat Operations was 23 March 2003, on which 30 American soldiers died. A total of 116 service members were killed in action during major combat operations, and another 25 died due to non-hostile causes such as accidents.

Army Lt. Gen. Richardo Sanchez, the allied forces commander in Iraq, stated on 07 August 2003 that US forces will remain in Iraq for at least two years. Long-term estimates for U.S. presence in Iraq will certainly come with increased US attacks, though President Bush refuses to speculate the price the U.S. forces will pay in casualties. The attacks fuel the growing concern whether the guerilla attacks against Coalition Forces are part of a larger coordinated campaign.

Military officials said the number of attacks had decreased significantly -- down from about 50 a day in mid-September 2003 to an average of about 15 a day in December 2003, spiking to 18 on Christmas Day. At a briefing on 02 January 2004 it was reported that engagements against coalition military have averaged 20 a day, thought the area of operations remains stable.

During the first week of January 2004 there was an average of 18 engagements launched against coalition military targets daily. Attacks against Iraqi security forces averaged slightly more than two per day, with an average of and one attack daily against Iraqi civilians. During the third week in January 2004, there were an average of 17 engagements daily against coalition military personnel, just under four attacks daily against Iraqi security forces and a bit more than one attack daily against Iraqi civilians.

Acording to one report, at least 80 foreign mercenaries - security guards recruited from the United States, Europe and South Africa and working for American companies - had been killed in the second week of April 2004 in Iraq. According to this report, at least 18,000 mercenaries, many of them tasked to protect US troops and personnel, were believed to be in Iraq. By mid-April 2004 Halliburton acknowledged that over 30 of its employees and contractors [12 Halliburton employees and 21 subcontractors] had died since the war began a year earlier. Titan Corporation of San Diego, lost 13 staff employees and contractors in Iraq over the same period.

US Casualties

In early October 2003, the Army Surgeon General's office said 3,915 soldiers had been evacuated from Operation Iraqi Freedom for non-combat injuries and illnesses, including 478 with psychological problems and 387 for neurological reasons.

According to US Central Command, as of 31 August 2003 a total of 1,111 US personnel had been wounded in action since the start of hostilities, including 561 since May 1. Over the same period, 178 had been killed in action, 66 since May 1.

Of the 6,497 nonhostile injuries suffered in Iraq through 29 October 2003, a total of 3,897 were suffered by active-duty soldiers, while 2,600 were suffered by reserves. While reserves account for 27% or about 35,000, of the roughly 130,000 US forces in Iraq, they constitute 40% of nonhostile injuries.

As of 13 November 2003 a total of 7,714 ill and injured American troops had been evacuated from the theater. Of these, the Pentagon said 937 had suffered so-called combat injuries, as opposed to non-hostile injuries.

As of 14 November 2003 a total of 1,967 American troops had been wounded, and a further 6,861 troops were medically evacuated for non-combat conditions between 19 March 2003 and 30 October 2003, according to figures released by the Army Surgeon General's office. Total casualties among all services reached more than 9,200, representing an increase of nearly 3,000 non-combat medical evacuations reported since the first week of October. Of the non-combat medical evacuations 2,464 were for injuries, such as those sustained in vehicle accidents, 4,397 were due to illness, 504 of those were classified as psychiatric, 378 as neurological, and another 150 as neurosurgery.

As of 28 November 2003 a total of 437 American troops had died in Iraq since the war began. A total of 2,094 were listed as wounded in action, with an additional 2,464 having suffered noncombat-related injuries. In late November 2003 the Department of Defense began releasing summaries of US casualities in Iraq, and began producing these casuality summaries on a daily basis starting in early December 2003. These summaries included totals of Wounded in Action [WIA] and "non-hostile wounded." This Non-hostile wounded category is clearly different from the previously reported "noncombat-related injury" category, since as of the end of November 2003 the "noncombat-related injury" total was nearly 2,500, while the "non-hostile wounded" total was only 350.

As of late July 2004 US forces continued to do about 12,000 total patrols per week. About a quarter of that is done either in a unilateral sense or in a joint patrol context with Iraqi security forces. The level of effort is roughly the same as it was before the 30 June 2004 transition.

American forces suffered over 10,000 wounded in action [WIA] no later than early on the morning of 22 December 2004. The Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) US Casualty Status report of Tuesday 21 December 2004 indicated that as of 1000 a.m. EDT [600 pm Baghdad time] there had been a total of 9,981 American service members wounded in action. These figures are updated weekly on Tuesday. Twenty-two people were killed and 72 others wounded following an explosion in a dining facility at Forward Operating Base Marez in southwest Mosul on 21 December 2004. It is not clear whether these casualties were reflected in this report. If they were not, then this single event pushed the WIA number well over the 10,000 mark. In any event, for the month of December, the casualty rate was running at somewhat less than one casualty an hour. Consequently, no later than hours of the following midnite, in the early morning hours of Wednesday 22 December 2004, the 10,000th wounded in action casualty was suffered by American forces.

Coalition Casualties

As of 14 November 2003 British military officials say 52 of their soldiers had died in Iraq, while Italy reported 19 dead soldiers. Denmark, Spain, Ukraine and Poland each say one soldier has died from their country.

A Spanish naval officer was among the 22 people killed in the August 2003 suicide bomb attack on the Baghdad headquarters of the United Nations. In October 2003, an officer attached to Spain's intelligence agency was gunned down near his home in Baghdad. On 29 November 2003 seven Spanish intelligence agents were killed and one wounded in Iraq in an attack on their convoy on a road south of Baghdad. On 12 November, an attack on an Italian military base in the southern city of Al-Nasiriyah killed 19 Italians.

As of 27 December 2003 a total of 88 allied forces had been killed and 100 wounded. The British military had reported 52 deaths; Italy, 17; Spain, eight; Denmark, Ukraine and Poland have reported one each. Five Bulgarian soldiers were killed and 27 wounded in suicide bombings in the southern Iraqi city of Karbala on 27 December. They were the first Bulgarian troops to die in the country. Two Thais were also killed in this attack.

As of 27 December 2003 some 150 UN, international aid personnel, and foreign contractors had been killed since 19 March 2003.

As of January 24, 2004 a total of 56 Britons, five Bulgarians, one Dane, 17 Italians, two Poles, eight Spaniards, two Thai and one Ukrainian had been killed in the war. As of 01 February 2004 twenty British soldiers have died in combat since the US-led invasion of Iraq in March 2003 and 37 have been killed in non-combat incidents.

One soldier from El Salvador was killed on April 4, 2004 during violent protests in Najaf. 19 Salvadorans were also wounded.

On April 6, 2004, a soldier from Ukraine was killed in fighting in S. Iraq.

A Bulgarian soldier died 23 April 2004 after his unit was attacked in the flashpoint city of Karbala. Five Bulgarian soldiers were killed in a bomb attack in the city on 27 December 2003.

As of 23 April 2004 at least 59 Britons, six Bulgarians, one Dane, one Estonian, 17 Italians, two Poles, one Salvadoran, 11 Spaniards, two Thai and four Ukrainians had been killed, for a total of 114.

On April 24, 2004, a story in The Scotsman newspaper reported that since February 2003, 2,228 injured British personel had been repatriated back home for treatment and care. It also reported that about 50 combat-related injuries were being suffered each month by British troops stationned in Iraq and that attacks on them were taking place on a daily basis. A total of about 60,000 British military personnel have served in Iraq during Operation Telic. Compared to the American total of about 3,800 wounded in action, the 2,200 total is quite high relative to the total number of UK troops [no more than a quarter that of the US] or the ratio of wounded in action to deaths from all causes [about 5 to 1 for the US, versus 35 to 1 for the UK].

On April 28, 2004, coalition Forces patrol was ambushed and attacked in the vicinity of As Suwaiyrah in Wasit province by RPG and machine gun fire. As a result of attack one Ukrainian soldier was killed, two were injured.

On May 10, 2004, a Dutch sergeant serving with B Co., 12th Air Assault Bn, was killed, resulting in the Netherlands' first casualty in Iraq.

As of May 25, 2004, a total of six Ukrainians had been killed with more than 20 were wounded.

On June 28, 2004, a soldier with the 1st Bn, British Royal Highland Fusiliers was killed by a bomb during a routine patrol in Basrah. This marked the 60th British serviceman to die since the beginning of operations in Iraq. A British military serviceman died on July 19, 2004 at Basra airport, bringing the total of British casualties in Iraq to 61. On August 4, a British soldier was killed at Amarah in an accident. On August 9, 2004, another British solder was killed in Basra during an attack and on August 12, another British soldier was killed as a result of an IED exploding, bringing the total of British troops killed in Iraq to 64.

On July 29, 2004, a Polish soldier died in an IED attack during a patrol northeast of Madlul.

On August 15, 2004, a Ukrainian platoon commander from the 62nd separate mechanized infantry battalion of the Ukrainian 6th separate mechanized infantry brigade was killed in an IED attack near As Suveira, Iraq.

On August 19, 2004, a UK Black Watch soldier was killed in a roadside bomb blast in Basra. On August 21, 2004, a Polish soldier was killed in a car bomb explosion.

On September 13, three Polish Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) team members were killed when they came under attack from anti-Iraqi forces using rocket propelled grenades (RPG) and small arms.

On September 28, 2004, two British soldiers were killed in an ambush on a convoy in Basrah. The next day, a Ukrainian soldier died in a vehicle accident.

An Estonian soldier was killed in Iraq on October 25, 2004, during a patrol outside Baghdad, as a result of an IED.

On Oct. 29, a British soldier from the Black Watch regiment, was killed in a vehicle accident. On November 4, three soldiers from the Black Watch Regiment, were killed in an attack. The unit had recently redeployed from Basra to S. of Baghdad. MNF-I?MNC-I reported that on Nov. 29 that one soldier from the Black Watch Battle Group had been killed following his Warrior armoured vehicle being hit by a roadside bomb north of Camp Dogwood.

As of 28 November 2004 the British military had reported 74 deaths; Italy, 19; Poland, 13; Spain, 11; Ukraine, nine; Bulgaria, seven; Slovakia, three; Estonia, Thailand and the Netherlands, two each; and Denmark, El Salvador, Hungary and Latvia reported one death each.

On December 15, 2004, 3 Polish soldiers were killed when the helicopter transporting them was forced to make an emergency landing near Karbala.

On January 9, 2005, seven Ukrainian soldiers as well as one soldier Kazakhstan were killed in an apparent accident while bombs were being loaded. An eighth Ukrainian soldier later died that night from injuries suffered in the blast. As of that date, 17 Ukrainians had been killed since Ukraine first began deploying troops to Iraq in August 2003.

On January 18, the British Ministry of Defence revealed that at total of 790 British soldiers had, up until then, been seriously wounded in Iraq.

On January 30, 2005, a British C-130 aircraft crashed killing 10 British soldiers.

On March 4, 2005, a Bulgarian soldier was killed (Bulgaria's eight casualty) apparently by American forces.

Iraqi Casualties

On 20 October 2003 the Project on Defense Alternatives estimated that between 10,800 and 15,100 Iraqis were killed in the war. Of these, between 3,200 and 4,300 were noncombatants -- that is: civilians who did not take up arms.

On 12 November 2003 the British Medact [an affiliate of the nonprofit International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War] estimated total Iraqi casualties from the war could range from 21,700 to 55,000. This study placed Iraqi military casualties at somewhere between 13,500 and 45,000. As of the same date, the IraqBodyCount.net estimated total Iraqi deaths as a range of between 7,840 and 9,668, derived from thousands of media reports from Iraq.

On 10 February 2004 the head of Iraq's police force, Lieutenant General Ahmed Kazem Ibrahim said a total of 604 policemen had been killed in attacks or during operations since a new police force was established by the US-led coalition the fall of president Saddam Hussein. In late January 2004, interim interior minister Nuri Basra gave a death toll of some 300 for the force.

Civilian deaths rose dramatically in Iraq since the country was invaded in March 2003, according to a survey conducted by researchers from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Columbia University School of Nursing and Al-Mustansiriya University in Baghdad. The study was published in the October 29, 2004, online edition of The Lancet. "We estimate that there were 98000 extra deaths (95% CI 8000 - 194000) during the post-war period." from March 2003 through September 2004. CI refers to confidence interval.

But they did not find 98,000 additional deaths, but a range from 8,000 to 194,000 -- a range is so broad as to be nearly meaningless. And of the 61 actual violent deaths attributed to Coalition forces, three were blamed on ground forces, while 58 deaths were attributed to "helicopter gunships, rockets, or other forms of aerial weaponry" (p. 7). This might suggest that the air war had been infinitely more intense than previously believed, which is difficult to believe. For the "about 100,000 killed" to be correct, almost all of these deaths would have been women and children killed by American air power, at a rate of nearly 200 a day. At least some of these deaths may have been due to the insurgency, since at least some Iraqis interpret insurgent car bombs as American cruise missile attacks.

These numbers would suggest that the US is fighting two wars: a well-publicized ground campaign in which US ground forces have killed over 5,000 enemy combatants this year [at an average rate of maybe 20 per day], and an invisible air campaign in which American helicopters are killing nearly 200 women and children every day. This is difficult to believe.





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