The View From 1776
Monday, December 19, 2005
We’ve Lost the War in New Orleans, DC, and Detroit
Looking at the U.S. troop death rate, from all causes, it’s clear that Iraq is far safer than most of our major cities.
Two thousand plus deaths is not a small number, but it must be seen in perspective. The annualized death rate, from all causes, of American troops in Iraq is a small fraction of the murder rates alone in most major U.S. cities.
Public support for the war in Iraq has declined, almost entirely because of the daily pounding of American casualty statistics by the liberal news media. When the death total recently passed 2,000, we were treated to an eruption of protest demonstrations, editorials, and speeches.
Senators Ted Kennedy (the hero of Chappaquiddick) and John Kerry (who, in case you have forgotten, served in Vietnam), along with Representative John Murtha (who used to be claimed by Marines as one of them), have proclaimed that we’re mired in a losing war in Iraq and/or that our troops must be withdrawn very soon, if not immediately.
In no way to minimize the importance of every death, Iraqi and American, at the hands of Islamic thugs, let’s put the numbers into perspective.
In the 33 months since the invasion of Iraq in March 2003, our average number of troops in Iraq has been roughly 167,800. That number is based upon published reports that we had 130,000 troops initially and raised the total to 180,00 in November, 2003.
Using the average number of troops, we can calculate the annual death rate per 1,000 troops at 4.66. Remember that number includes deaths from accidents, roadside IEDs, direct enemy fire, and suicide bombers. Moreover, the monthly numbers of deaths have been declining since the start of the war, so the 33-month average is higher than the latest monthly rates.
Let’s compare that rate to 2002 murder rates, the latest I can find on the internet:
Murders per 1,000 population:
New York City———-7.5
U.S. troops, all causes:
If we are to accept the logic of liberal-Progressive politicians and media pundits, we must pull out of Iraq because we can’t win. Using that same logic, we should disband all of our big-city police forces, because murders keep happening, at a far higher rate than the death toll in Iraq, no matter what the police do.