Saturday, January 21, 2006

Is John Reid Telling the Truth about UK Casualties in Iraq?

John Reid, the UK defense secretary, went on record yesterday to claim that only 'about' 230 British troops have been injured in enemy action since the invasion of Iraq. This figure is unbelievably low and an urgent enquiry is required into how the Ministry of Defense arrived at that estimate.

Previously, information on the total number of casualties was withheld by the UK government and it was left to enquiries under the Freedom of Information Act to try and uncover the true situation.

The MOD web site has until recently published consistently inaccurate statements by claiming that the figures it produced represented all casualties when in fact they only reported fatalities and a selection of injury cases. This has now been corrected and references to injuries now seem to have been removed completely.

The estimate of casualties declared by John Reid should be challenged immediately, on the basis of arithmetic if nothing else. An article published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2004 describes the ratio of wounded to dead US troop as 9:1. The raio implied by John Reid's figures is 4:1, less than half of what would be expected.

Something appears to be seriously wrong and Mr Reid should not be allowed to move on from this without a full accounting! Thankfully, this time it appears that the mainstream media also view this as important.

This site has resubmitted its original FOI request from January 2005 and we look forward to hearing what the MOD may have to say.