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February 03, 2004

Casualties

I often hear about our "ever increasing casualties" in Iraq. Generally this is said with the connotation that the casualty rate is increasing, which is not the case. And dwelling on the fact that the casualties are "ever increasing" begs the question as to when the total number of fatalities have ever actually gone down. Maybe Rumsfeld will allocate some R&D funding directed at ressurection technology, but until then I think we're stumped as to how to unkill someone. So we're faced with a world where military fatalities will "ever increase". Although not nearly as fast as one day of the Haj, much less one day at the Somme, where tens of thousands of fatalaties occured on the first day. Instead of one fatality a day the Somme was one fatality every few seconds. That battle lasted for months, too.

Anyway, out of curiousity I punced daily US casualty data from the BBC into a spread sheet, and then generated a chart. I think they left out a chopper accident or two, though. Here it is.

IraqChart.gif

The jump on Nov 2 is from

2 November: Fifteen US soldiers are killed when their helicopter is shot down near the city of Amiryah.

2 November: A soldier (First Armored Division) is killed from wounds sustained in an explosives attack in Baghdad.

A multi fatality vehicle accident is also clearly discernable. In WW-I having 200 or so casualties in a single day was a rate that happened when no combat was occuring.


February 3, 2004 in Politics | Permalink

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