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No Answers To New Iraq Terror

As of June 5, 8,386 U.S. troops were wounded so seriously that they were listed as "WIA Not RTD" in the DOD figures. In other words: Wounded in Action Not Returned to Duty, an increase of 42 such casualties in six days at an average rate of seven per day.
by Martin Sieff
UPI Senior News Analyst
Washington (UPI) Jun 06, 2006
The latest wave of attacks in Iraq confirms the growing capabilities of the Sunni insurgency. The total number of U.S. troops killed in Iraq through Monday, June 5, since the start of operations to topple Saddam Hussein on March 19, 2003, was 2,478, according to official figures issued by the U.S. Department of Defense.

Therefore 11 U.S. troops have died in Iraq over the past six days at an average rate of 1.82 per day. This marks a slight improvement on the previous 48-day period starting April 13 when 107 U.S. troops died in Iraq at an average rate of just over 2.2 per day. But it is still significantly worse than the previous 68-day period when 112 U.S. troops died in Iraq, starting Feb. 4, at an average rate of 1.65 per day.

This rate was not as bad as the "spike" in American casualties when 33 U.S. soldiers were killed in only seven days from Jan. 11 through Jan. 17, an average of 4.7 soldiers killed per day; or on the figure of 28 killed in the Jan. 4-10 period when the average death rate was 4 U.S. soldiers killed per day.

However, as we have noted in previous columns, since the most recent lull in U.S. casualties in March, the rate of U.S. troops killed per day in Iraq has risen sharply.

The rate at which U.S. soldiers are being injured in Iraq also remains high. As of June 5,May 30, 18,254 U.S. soldiers have been injured in Iraq since the start of hostilities to topple Saddam on March 19, 2003. That was an increase of 70 wounded in six days or an average of 11.67 U.S. soldiers wounded per day. This was a slight improvement on the previous rate of 635 U.S. soldiers wounded in 48 days, an average rate of just over 13.2 wounded per day.

This figure shows a remarkable statistical consistency compared with the previous 68-day period from Feb. 4 to April 12 when 943 U.S. soldiers were wounded in 68 days, at an average rate of just below 13.9 wounded per day, according to figures issued by the DOD. The average rate of 11.6 U.S. soldiers per day were injured from Jan. 30 through Feb. 3. And the latest figures are still more than 50 percent higher than the rate of 7.4 U.S. soldiers injured per day during the Jan. 11-17 period.

As of June 5, 8,386 of these U.S. troops were wounded so seriously that they were listed as "WIA Not RTD" in the DOD figures. In other words: Wounded in Action Not Returned to Duty, an increase of 42 such casualties in six days at an average rate of seven per day.

This was somewhat worse than the previous figures of 286 such casualties in 48 days, at an average rate of just under six per day. And it was more than 25 percent worse than the Feb.4-April 12 rate of 5.5 such casualties per day over 68 days for a total of 375 seriously injured.

The average "WIA Not RTD" figures for the past six days were also more than 67 percent higher than the Jan. 30-Feb. 4 rate of 4.8 WIA Not RTD per day and it was almost three times as bad as the 17 such casualties in seven days in the Jan. 11-17 period, at an average rate of less than 2.5 per day.

In all an estimated 2,250 of the U.S. soldiers wounded in Iraq, or one in eight of them, have suffered brain damage, loss of limbs or been crippled for life by their injuries.

The good news about these figures is that except for the rate of serious injuries inflicted on U.S. forces, they are marginally better than previous figures for the past three months.

However, the bad news is that this improvement is only marginal while the scale of insurgent operations against Iraqi civilians, especially Shiite ones, has spiked dramatically again over the past two weeks.

Yet even this latest surge in insurgent violence against Iraqi civilians has not distracted the insurgents from their ability to continue inflicting significantly high levels of attrition on U.S. forces at the same time.

The sobering conclusion to be drawn from these figures and the latest developments is that both strategically and operationally, the insurgency remains remarkably impervious to both the broad political strategies and the tactical military initiatives that U.S. political leaders and military commanders have sought to apply against it.

Things are steadily getting worse in Iraq, and so far the Bush administration and its Pentagon strategists have not shown ability to come up with ways to prevent this happening.

Source: United Press International

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