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The Widening War In Iraq

File photo: A Shiite insurgent.
by Martin Sieff
UPI Senior News Analyst
Washington (UPI) Oct 18, 2006
The worrying trends we have tracked over the past six weeks in Iraq are now obvious to all: the war there is out of control.

Iraqi sectarian Shiite and Sunni militias are killing innocent civilians on either side in far greater numbers and at far faster rates, than ever before. And the casualties being inflicted on U.S. forces in Iraq have risen to a new level and are being maintained at that level.

The total number of U.S. troops killed in Iraq through Oct, 15 since the start of operations to topple Saddam Hussein on March 19, 2003, was 2,761, according to official figures issued by the U.S. Department of Defense. Therefore, 56 U.S. soldiers were killed during the 18 days from Sept. 28 through Oct. 15.

This rate was identical to the one we reported Oct. 1 in these columns for the nine days from Sept. 19 through Sept. 27 when 28 U.S. soldiers were killed during the nine days from Sept. 19 through Sept. 27, at an average rate of 3.1 per day. At that time, we noted that these figures were far higher than the rate during the previous 18-day period, when 33 U.S. soldiers were killed from Sept. 1 through Sept. 18, at an average rate of 1.77 per day.

It is now clear that that this far far higher rate of casualties being suffered by U.S. forces is an ongoing trend and not the short-term "spike" that we then suggested it might be. U.S. forces are now suffering casualties at a higher rate and for a longer period than they at any time since the Iraqi parliamentary elections late last year.

The latest figures were also 50 percent worse than the two-week period from Aug. 18 through Aug. 31, when 29 U.S. soldiers were killed at an average rate of just over two per day.

U.S. soldiers were killed during the three-week period from July 28 through Aug. 17 at an average rate of 2.33 per day. From July 21 through July 27, 14 U.S. soldiers were killed, at an average rate of two per day.

Before that relatively stable five-week period, the rate at which U.S. soldiers were killed per day in Iraq had risen for almost eight weeks. Some 1.75 per day were killed during the eight-day period from July 13 through July 20. And 1.36 U.S. soldiers were killed per day during the 15 day period from June 29 through July 12. However, during the eight days from June 21 through June 28, 24 U.S. soldiers died at an average rate of three per day.

Some 1.75 U.S. soldiers per day died in Iraq during the seven-day period from June 14 through June 20. During the eight-day period of June 6-13, 2.5 U.S. soldiers were killed per day. During the six-day period of May 31-June 5, some 11 U.S. troops died in Iraq at an average rate of 1.82 per day.

During the 48-day period from April 13 to May 30, 107 U.S. troops died in Iraq at an average rate of just over 2.2 per day. But that were still slightly worse than the previous longer-term trend during the 68-day period from Feb. 4 to April 12, when 112 U.S. troops died in Iraq at an average rate of 1.65 per day.

The rate at which U.S. soldiers were injured in Iraq also remained high though it did drop significantly from its "spike" in late September. From Sept. 28 through Oct. 15, 427 U.S. soldiers were injured in Iraq at an average rate of 23.72 per day.

While still alarmingly high, this at least was an improvement of more than 40 percent on the rate of 39.44 per day during the nine day period from Sept. 19 through Sept. 27 when 355 U.S. soldiers were injured in Iraq. However, it is still more than 30 percent higher than the earlier 18-day period from Sept. 1 through Sept. 18, when 340 U.S. soldiers were in injured in Iraq at an average rate of 18.9 per day.

That 18-day average was almost identical to the rate of 18.7 per day who were injured from Aug. 18 through Aug. 31. The latest figures therefore show another dramatic upward spike compared with the previous seven weeks, during which the rate at which U.S. troops were injured in Iraq remained remarkably consistent. In the three-week period from July 28 through Aug. 17, 354 U.S. soldiers were injured at an average rate of 16.857 per day.

As of Oct. 15, 20,895 U.S. soldiers have been injured in Iraq since the start of hostilities.

The latest figures are almost identical to the summer "spike" in the rate of U.S. wounded during the seven-day period from July 21 through July 27, when 169 U.S. soldiers were injured in Iraq at an average rate of 24.14 per day. However, the latest figures are considerably more worrying because they reflect a rate of attrition that has lasted for two and a half weeks so far as opposed to the merely one week period oif the summer "spike."

Also, if the even higher rate of wounded casualties of the Sept. 19-Sept. 27 is factored in, the rate of U.S. wounded has now been ruining as high, or higher, than the seven day July "spike" for almost four weeks in succession. These figures too bear witness to a deteriorating and widening war.

Source: United Press International

Related Links
News and analysis about the Global War Against Terror at SpaceWar.com
Iraq: The first techonology war of the 21st century

Updated Iraq Survey Affirms Earlier Mortality Estimates
Baltimore MD (SPX) Oct 12, 2006
As many as 654,965 more Iraqis may have died since hostilities began in Iraq in March 2003 than would have been expected under pre-war conditions, according to a survey conducted by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Al Mustansiriya University in Baghdad. The deaths from all causes--violent and non-violent--are over and above the estimated 143,000 deaths per year that occurred from all causes prior to the March 2003 invasion.







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