The U.S. has deliberately stayed away from
the enemy"body count" that was such a feature of the Vietnam war. But
theAmerican military does keep count, they just keep their numbers
secret. Reporters have been after those numbers for years, and some of
them were finally released. Since 2003, U.S. forces have killed about
20,000 enemy fighters. There's a certain amount of estimate in that,as
many were killed at a distance (by smart bombs or missiles) andmany
bodies were blown to pieces or buried.
About26 percent of the dead hostiles were killed this
year, so far.This does not include those killed during the initial
invasion. Iraqicivilian dead during the invasion were under a thousand,
and militaryand paramilitary dead were believed to be about 8,000. Since
then,most of the civilian dead, perhaps as many as 100,000, have been
theresult of Iraqis killing each other. It's hard to get a count of
thecivilian dead, because over half the Sunni Arabs (who supply most
ofthe terrorists) have fled their homes, and often the country.
Whilethe terrorists have concentrated on killing Shia, in the last
twoyears, the Shia have been going after Sunni Arabs with growing
The U.S. has lost 3,800 dead. About half were lost during
offensiveoperations (U.S. troops looking for a fight), and the rest
mostly fromroadside bombs. During offensive operations, U.S. troops
generallykill ten or more Iraqis for every American killed. That's why
theIraqis prefer to use roadside bombs and other forms of ambush.
TheIraqis still take higher losses, but it's not nearly as bad as when
anAmerican combat unit comes calling. As military history shows, time
and again, you are often safer when you are on the offensive, and have the
enemy off balance. That is what has happened with the current "surge offensive."
American casualties have gone down, and enemy losses have gone up.