BAGHDAD, Iraq, Oct. 29 – In the first public disclosure that the United States military is tracking some of the deaths of Iraqi civilians, the military has released rough figures for Iraqis who have been killed or wounded by insurgents since Jan. 1 last year.
The estimate of dead and wounded Iraqi civilians and security forces was provided by the Pentagon in a report to Congress this month.
It appeared without fanfare in a single bar graph on Page 23 of the document. But it was significant because the military had previously avoided virtually all public discussion of the issue.
The count is incomplete – it provides daily partial averages of deaths and injuries of Iraqis at the hands of insurgents, in attacks like bombings and suicide strikes. Still, it shows that the military appears to have a far more accurate picture of the toll of the war than it has been willing to acknowledge.
“They have begun to realize that when you focus only on the U.S. it gives the impression that the U.S. doesn’t care about Iraqis,” said Anthony H. Cordesman, a military expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a research group in Washington. “In these kinds of political battles you need to count your allies, not just yourself.”
‘Civil War’, started by our Invasion of Iraq, seems to be against the Sunni and Shiite religious factions. But this could also have a mix of people of both factions, working together, especially from the Shiite’s, joining Sunni’s, who seem to be the Supporters of the Occupation. Some within the Shiite faction may Also be attacking their own who are Working with the Occupation in opposition to their Support, and the same for the Sunni’s!
“Extrapolating the daily averages over the months from Jan. 1, 2004, to Sept. 16 this year results in a total of 25,902 Iraqi civilians and security forces killed and wounded by insurgents.
According to an analysis by Hamit Dardagan, who compiles statistics for Iraq Body Count, a group that tracks civilian deaths, about three Iraqis are wounded in the war for each one who dies. Given that ratio, the total Iraqi death toll from insurgent violence would be about 6,475, based on extrapolations of the military’s figures.”
“Indeed, the tally is lower than the 11,163 deaths of Iraqi civilians in the war during the same period counted by Mr. Dardagan’s group, which draws its data from reports of deaths and injuries by news services, newspapers and other news outlets.
It is also lower than figures released by Iraq’s Interior Ministry showing that 8,175 Iraqi civilians and police officers had been killed by insurgents from August 2004 through May 2005. Even so, the tallies show that the military has been recording Iraqi deaths by insurgents with some regularity since the first months after the invasion.”
The ‘Insurgency’ cannot Sustain itself without the Support of a Great Number of the Population, No Insurgency Can, and it seems to have that Support with this Report: Secret MoD poll: Iraqis support attacks on British troops
, the Vermont Democrat who sponsored the amendment to the fiscal year 2006 Defense Authorization Bill that calls for casualty details. “After denying that they keep these statistics, it gives the Congress something concrete to ask them about,” Mr. Rieser said.
The bar graph was made public, but the data underlying it was not, so the figures used for this article were derived from measuring the bars. Colonel Venable said the information had been classified because it could allow insurgents to assess the effectiveness of their attacks. Mr. Dardagan questioned the secrecy, citing regular releases of American deaths.
“We now know that the U.S. military does keep records of Iraqi civilian deaths,” Mr. Dardagan said. “There seems to be no obvious reason for keeping them a secret.”
“You can say everything you want about the numbers not mattering,” said Sarah Sewall, a lecturer in public policy at the John F. Kennedy
School of Government at Harvard University. But the report shows that “we recognize they are important tools for understanding.”
It is not clear what proportion of attacks American forces respond to, but Maj. Gen. Rick Lynch, a spokesman for the American military here, said Thursday that forces respond “whenever we can.”
Civilians have moved to center stage in wars since the beginning of the 20th century. A 2001 study on civilians in war by the International Committee of the Red Cross showed a shift in a stark statistic: In World War I, 9 soldiers were killed for every civilian, while in today’s wars 10 civilians die for every soldier.
Civilians are important allies for states trying to prevail in wars against violent insurgencies, and the inclusion of the figures in the report seemed to be an acknowledgment of that, Ms. Sewall said.
Innocents of Any Type of Conflict are the ones who Suffer the reatest Casulties and hardships in Numbers, Killed/Maimed, and Destruction of their Way Of Life and that around them! Not only as these Conflicts are Occuring ‘But Long After’ they are Supposedly Ended! They can and do Create Hatreds and a want for Revenge, in Many Cases, by those who Survived but have Lost Numerous Loved Ones! Especially from within the Survivors of The Young who Live the Horrors, they have witnessed/experianced, Over and Over!!