Thursday, September 20, 2007

British Casualty Monitor Update 20.09.07: UK casualties decline in Iraq

The fortnightly update of Ministry of Defence data on British casualties from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan has now been completed up to 31st August. In Iraq, total casualties for 2007 have now reached 1379, while in Afghanistan, total casualties for 2007 have crossed a notable threshold, and now stand at 1001.

However, the data from August does show some good news. The impact of the withdrawal from Basra City at the beginning of September has yet to be reflected in the statistics for Iraq but the ceasefire, negotiated with elements of the resistance as part of that withdrawal, already seems to have led to a significant reduction in UK casualties. The three month average combat casualty rate showed a notable reduction for the first time in over a year, with casualties dropping by about half between July and August.

In Afghanistan, the 3 month average combat casualty rate has also reduced but casualties in August did actually increase compared to July. The trend in this conflict remains uncertain.

News round up:

Debate continued on whether Britain is failing its armed forces at home with reports of soldiers and their families ‘living in disgraceful conditions’.

In Afghanistan, the Telegraph reported that British troops are left without medics, an accusation that forced an official response from the Ministry of Defence.

Meanwhile, despite the British withdrawal from Basra and plans for troop withdrawals, the prospect of further conflict in the region escalated. Fox news reported that U.S. officials were crafting plans for bombing Iran, and the path to this new war was sketched out in further detail, as Bush was described as setting America up for war with Iran. With that in mind, the US requested deployment of British troops to the Iranian border has to viewed with some concern.