Wednesday, March 22, 2006

 

Casualties

Last year I looked at statistics of military casualties (available data was from 1980 through 2004) and was surprised to see the impact that Iraq and Afghanistan had on the overall figure. Here is a current post on the subject from Instapundit with the excerpt below from Redstate.


Take a look at the actual US Military Casualty figures since 1980. If you do the math, you will find quite a few surpises. First of all, let's compare numbers of US Military personnel that died during the first term of the last four presidents.

George W. Bush . . . . . 5187 (2001-2004)
Bill Clinton . . . . . . . . . 4302 (1993-1996)
George H.W. Bush . . . . 6223 (1989-1992)
Ronald Reagan . . . . . . 9163 (1981-1984)

I wonder how many people are aware that there were 4,300 casualties during Bill Clinton's first term as president (7,500 for both terms). These statistics could be used to help put the current conflict in Iraq in perspective but I don't see that being reported in the more popular news outlets.

Update: More from Powerline:

I would make this comparison: more active duty service members (2,392) died in 1980, Jimmy Carter's last year in office, than in either 2003 or 2004, when the Iraq war was being fought (1,410 and 1,887, respectively). No military actions were conducted during 1980 other than the failed effort to rescue the hostages in Iran, in which eight servicemen lost their lives. Keep that in mind next time you hear Carter pontificating about the "carnage" in Iraq.

Every death of a serviceman or woman is a tragedy. Funny how different it seems, though, when every death is also a front-page news story.


Bill C adds: To bookend theses numbers Gateway Pundit had an analysis of Iraqi civilian deaths at the end of last year comparing pre and post-war body counts. American blood is being spilt to save Iraqis. That is the cost but the gain should be worth it.


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