Iraq: March 15, 2004

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 As of today, 564 American troops have been killed in Iraq. Combat operations killed 385, and wounded 2,814, while  179 died from accidents and illness, and 427 were injured. 

About half the troops have died since May 1, when the campaign to defeat Saddam's armed forces ended and the occupation of Iraq began. Since May 1st, 270 American troops have died in combat and  156 from non-combat injuries.

Other coalition contingents have lost 96 troops in combat so far (Britain- 58; Italy- 17; Spain-8; Bulgaria- 5; Ukraine- 3; Thailand- 2; Denmark, Estonia and Poland have lost one soldier each.)

Deaths among aid workers and Iraqi government officials are on the rise, but total numbers for these categories have not been released. Terrorists and anti-government forces are increasingly targeting unarmed civilians and government workers. This spreads terror and lowers the risk to the terrorists. One concern of the coalition is that the traditional Iraqi method for dealing with this sort of terrorism is group punishment. A few Sunni Arab towns and neighborhoods are producing a disproportionate number of the killers (based on the hundreds captured alive, or from identification of dead attackers.) Saddam's police (operating much like Iraqi police of generations past), would have imprisoned and killed people from the responsible communities until the unrest stopped. It worked in the past, but is not the sort of thing that works in a democracy.


 

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