I examined U.S. troop fatalities in Iraq for the period of February (when the surge escalation began) through August of 2007 for troop deaths compared to the same months of 2006. I also looked at comparing the number of U.S. troops wounded in Iraq for the period of February through July of 2007 compared to the same period in 2006 (numbers for August 2007 were not available through the data source I used -- http://icasualties.org/...

I must add the caveat that I am not a statistician and was doing this from vague memories from my college statistics classes using the very simple statistical functions in Microsoft Excel. Those who know more about this type of analysis please feel free to let me know if I am way off base.

At least based upon my admittedly simple comparison, it appears that both the number of troop deaths since the surge escalation began and the number of troops wounded since the surge began have increased significantly when compared to the same time period in 2006. Details after the fold.

Data table for comparing troop fatalities:

 Mo/Yr Feb March April May June July Aug 2006 55 31 76 69 61 43 65 2007 81 81 104 126 101 79 84

The average (mean) number of troop deaths per month in 2007 was 94 (rounded) compared with 57 in 2006.

At alpha .05, the difference was significant at p<0.0014. Whether the escalation caused the average increase in troop deaths or failed to control other factors cannot be determined by this simple comparison; however, there is little doubt our troops are being killed at greater rate now than in the year before.</p>

Data table for comparing troops wounded:

 Mo/Yr Feb March April May June July 2006 342 496 433 442 459 525 2007 517 618 649 655 744 608

Mean monthly wounded in 2007 period:  632 (rounded)
Mean monthly wounded in 2006 period:  450 (rounded)
P<0.000985 at alpha .05</p>

As we are told this week that the escalation must continue, let us remember our troops and what is happening to them the longer this absurdity continues.

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#### Comment Preferences

• ##### Just a small bit of advice, chrisj(2+ / 0-)
Recommended by:
ROGNM, donnamarie

It's generally frowned upon to have "Recommended" in your tags until your diary is in fact on the Recommended Diaries list.

Let the great world spin for ever down the ringing grooves of change. - Tennyson

[ Parent ]

• ##### Good job! thanks! n/t(1+ / 0-)
Recommended by:
Bouwerie Boy
• ##### its amazing(1+ / 0-)
Recommended by:
chrisj

that everyone puts so much emphasis on total number of dead troops in order to determine the effectiveness, or ineffectiveness, of a military campaign.

I appreciate your post ChrisJ.  Even if US military death dropped to zero for a month, everyone still knows what a complete failure the occupation was and still is.

Cheney must be held accountable. - www.Dennis4President.com

• ##### Because those are the "Metrics",(1+ / 0-)
Recommended by:
myrealname

except when they're Not.

[ Parent ]

• ##### I don't know how meaningful(2+ / 0-)
Recommended by:

These comparisons are since the government changed the way they count fatalities and injuries.

For example Pvt. Saunders is listed as non-hostile even though he suffered "wounds" in a "non-hostile" event.

Also, all of those helicopter deaths are listed as non-hostile.

While I was looking up Private Saunders, I found a soldier named Fish who was shot on base in the US. This kind of death is never listed.

• ##### Good Points(1+ / 0-)
Recommended by:

If they changed how they count between 2006 and 2007 the real numbers might be even greater for 2007 and those even more significant compared to 2006.

• ##### What if you compare deaths(1+ / 0-)
Recommended by:
chrisj

as a percentage of the troops in Iraq for each month? Overall, we increased the troops from about 130,000 to 160,000, didn't we? I think that's about a 23% increase in troops. If troop deaths over that period increased from 57/month to 94/month, that is a 65% increase. So we have greatly increased the chance of our troops being killed since we started the surge.

Any mathematicians/statisticians are welcome to check my math, admittedly not my strong point any more.

"Some folks are wise and some are otherwise." --Tobias George Smolett

• ##### To belabor my point(0+ / 0-)

troops increased by 23%, troop deaths increased by 65%. Troop deaths increased almost three times as much as the number of troops increased. Not a good statistic!!

"Some folks are wise and some are otherwise." --Tobias George Smolett

[ Parent ]

• ##### They always have a spin for monthly US deaths:(1+ / 0-)
Recommended by:
chrisj

If they go up it is because "we are taking the fight to the enemy" or "the enemy is getting desparate".  If they go down it is because "we are winning".

Every month this year has had more US deaths than the corresponding month last year.  This is almost certainly going to be the deadliest year for US troops.

I spent most of my time as a high class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street and the bankers. - Major General Smedley D. Butler, USMC