Friday, December 21, 2007
Thursday, December 20, 2007
Updated: 20th December
Casualty data analysed to: November 2007
Duration of war: 4 years, 8 months
Estimates of violent civilian deaths: 78,280 - 95,817
Estimates of total excess Iraqi deaths:
392,979 - 1,131,831
Total Iraqi casualties: no data available
The extent of the death toll resulting from the US-led invasion of Iraq and the following occupation and insurgency, continues to be the subject of debate. Ever since 2003, scientific discussion, heated debate in the media, and political spin and manipulation, have all been prominent as various stakeholders have strived to define a figure for the human cost to the Iraqi people.
As claims mount about the success of the
When undertaking this review it quickly becomes apparent that there is still no one definitive or completely reliable source. We have previously reviewed the limitations of the available data sources on casualties. To illustrate the range of estimates that exist we have constructed a graph of some of the publicly available estimates, drawing on the following sources:
When trying to unravel the various sources of information on war deaths it is useful to distinguish between different types and causes of mortality. Death is as certain as taxation so in all populations there will be a 'normal' rate of mortality caused by causes such as chronic disease, old age, and traffic accidents. However, when an event such as a war occurs there will be additional deaths. These deaths are referred to as 'excess' mortality.
Deaths are also measured in different population groups. Different methods distinguish in various, and not always consistent ways, between members of the previous Iraq military forces, occupation Forces, civilians, Iraq security forces and insurgents.
The second graph presents 4 estimates of total Iraqi fatalities. Bear in mind that these are estimates of different things. However, it is well known by epidemiologists that passive surveillance systems will tend to underestimate mortality compared to active approaches such as population surveys....
Sunday, December 16, 2007
"Meanwhile inside the city which British troops have not entered since their withdrawal from Saddam Hussein's former palace three-and-a-half months ago, Iraqis paraded and celebrated what they called an "historic day".
The handover of control of security in the province is the biggest landmark yet on the path to full British withdrawal from Iraq. It comes at a time when extra forces may be needed in Afghanistan." [ITN]“We knew we would succeed [in toppling Saddam], there was never any doubt, and we all knew that we would then enter a honeymoon period of peace-support operations which would be vital in winning hearts and minds. But when the initial fighting was over we were left with a force smaller than that which was based in Northern Ireland.” [The Times]
"The British have never sought to maintain the same level of control as the Americans did over the provinces the U.S. oversaw after the 2003 invasion. Since elections in 2005, southern Iraq has been under the domain of religious Shiite parties and their militia allies.
All of which means the British are handing over something local power players already possess.
"I don't think there is a handover. You've never had real British control of Basra or the area," said Anthony Cordesman, of the Center for Strategic and International Studies. "What you are really watching is a sort of nominal transfer of authority to the central government and Iraqi forces." [Associated Press]Last week a British infantry officer wrote on the internet forum Arrse: “To anyone who thinks we have made it a better place, we haven’t.” [The Times]
The British misadventure in Iraq is far from over.