Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Iraq by the numbers

Reuters noting that the number of American troops killed in Iraq has now passed 3,000.

It won't be long before the anti-war crowd will be pimping this figure as further proof that Iraq is a catastrophe, spiraling out of control and destined to failure.

But it's not necessarily so. The Iraq conflict actually has the lowest casualty rate of any war in U.S. history. And while Reuters says December was the deadliest month in the war, American combat deaths have declined every year since the invasion.

Consider also:
-- During WWII, we lost 3,000 soldiers on D-Day alone;

-- Three times that many were killed at Gettysburg during the Civil War;

-- Ten times as many American troops had been killed by this time in the Vietnam War (the original "quagmire" -- and a Liberal adventure, incidentally) .

I hate to boil it down to a simple comparison of numbers -- it seems so callous and cold. It is a tragedy every time an American soldier is killed. But if the anti-war guys are going to use the numbers for their purposes, someone has to put them in perspective.

There is no question the situation in Iraq is very bad, could get worse, and may ultimately lead to defeat. But the casualty rate is not one of those proof points.

1 comment:

John Simonds said...

If I'm not mistaken, the first 3000 were killed on 9/11...I wonder what the bad guy count is...I'll bet it's not close.