Casualties in Iraq


Many people seem to have an emotional investment in the idea that American casualties in Iraq are rising. In fact, as Wretchard of the Belmont Club blog demonstrates, the truth is the opposite: Casualties are down from 2004 to 2005.

Wretchard, actually a Filipino-born Harvard graduate who lives in Australia, makes the point that we shouldn't draw too many conclusions from the numbers one way or the other. Casualties may be down for now, but they could go up again. Casualties can result not only from increased enemy strength but also from more proactive U.S. military operations, which, on balance, can be very effective. We would have reduced casualties greatly for the months starting in June 1944 if we had not landed in Normandy. My point is only this: The picture of a steadily worsening environment in Iraq is not supported by the U.S. casualty numbers.