The Military Death Toll While Enforcing the Occupation of Iraq:
A Weekly Data Sheet of US-uk Military Fatalities Post-May 1, 2003

by Paul de Rooij
Started at Dissident Voice
December 16, 2004
Next update: Jan. 6th




Recent Quotes

Today, Schneider walks with a limp, on his artificial leg. But even though he was injured while on a mission in a war zone – and even though he’ll receive the same benefits as a soldier who’d been shot - he is not included in the Pentagon’s casualty count. Their official tally shows only deaths and wounded in action. It doesn't include "non-combat" injured, those whose injuries were not the result of enemy fire.
"It's a slap in the face. Although it was through no direct hostile action, I was on a mission that they’d given me in hostile territory. Hostile enough that we had to have a perimeter set up at the time of my accident to prevent from an ambush or an attack," says Schneider. "For those of us that were unfortunate enough to get injured. Whether it was hostile action or not, we're all paying the same price."
How many injured and ill soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines – like Chris Schneider – are left off the Pentagon’s casualty count?
Would you believe 15,000? 60 Minutes asked the Department of Defense to grant us an interview. They declined. Instead, they sent a letter, which contains a figure not included in published casualty reports: "More than 15,000 troops with so-called 'non-battle' injuries and diseases have been evacuated from Iraq."
Many of those evacuated are brought to Landstuhl in Germany. Most cases are not life-threatening. In fact, some are not serious at all. But only 20 percent return to their units in Iraq. Among the 80 percent who don’t return are GIs who suffered crushing bone fractures; scores of spinal injuries; heart problems by the hundreds; and a slew of psychiatric cases. None of these are included in the casualty count, leaving the true human cost of the war something of a mystery.
—Bob Simon, Iraq: The Uncounted, CBS 60 Minutes, Nov. 21, 2004.

As lifesaving as the new strategies have been, teams have been forced to confront numerous unanticipated circumstances. The war has gone on far longer than planned, the volume of wounded soldiers has increased, and the nature of the injuries has changed. Blast injuries from suicide bombs and land mines — improvised explosive devices (IEDs), in military lingo — have increased substantially and have proved particularly difficult to manage. They often combine penetrating, blunt, and burn injuries. The shrapnel include not only nails, bolts, and the like, but also dirt, clothing, even bone from assailants. Victims of IED attacks can exsanguinate from multiple seemingly small wounds, even those in the back. Teams have therefore learned to pack the bleeding sites before laparotomy or other interventions are performed. And they are now performing serial operative washouts to ensure adequate removal of infectious debris.
Surgeons also discovered a dismayingly high incidence of blinding injuries. Soldiers had been directed to wear eye protection, but they evidently found the issued goggles too ugly. As some soldiers put it, "They look like something a Florida senior citizen would wear." So the military bowed to fashion and switched to cooler-looking Wiley-brand ballistic eyewear. The rate of eye injuries has since decreased markedly.
—Atul Gawande, Casualties of War — Military Care for the Wounded from Iraq and Afghanistan, The New England Journal of Medicine, Vol. 351:2471-2475 No. 24, Dec. 9, 2004

An Army study shows that about one in six soldiers in Iraq report symptoms of major depression, serious anxiety or post-traumatic stress disorder, a proportion that some experts believe could eventually climb to one in three, the rate ultimately found in Vietnam veterans. Because about one million American troops have served so far in the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to Pentagon figures, some experts predict that the number eventually requiring mental health treatment could exceed 100,000.
— Scott Shane, A Flood of Troubled Soldiers Is in the Offing, Experts Predict, New York Times, Dec. 16, 2004.

The military use of depleted uranium is still being questioned. But one thing is certain: War is dangerous to your health.
—Helen Thomas, How Dangerous Is Depleted Uranium?, CommonDreams, Dec. 11, 2004.
Comment: It is important to highlight and discuss the impact of DU, but it should NOT be restricted to US military personnel. What about the Iraqi population who also happen to be deprived of cancer drugs or proper medical facilities? How about the clean-up? Even Thomas cannot get herself to mention a peep about them.

Commentary on the developments of the week.

US-uk Military Fatality Forecast (using data thru 15-Dec-04)
Period from 01-May-03 thru:Fatality forecast
Dec. 31, 2004 1,272
May 1, 2005 1,650
The forecast is based on a simple linear regression — it doesn’t attempt to be fancy in forecasting the threat potential, etc. However, even such a simple method yields good forecasts. The data used for the forecast is »daily« data — performs better than monthly data.
NB: the point of this forecast is to give an indication of the terrible toll this occupation will exact; it is by no means presented in a callous fashion.

Main foreign military forces in Iraq
ProvenanceEstimated numbersDate/Source
United States 150,000 Dec. 2004 [1]
"Contractors" & mercenaries 20,000 – 30,000 Oct. 14, 2004 [2]
UK 9,300 Oct. 14, 2004 [3]
[1] US to deploy more troops in Iraq, AlJazeera, Dec. 2, 2004. 150,000 within weeks. NB: the previous highest number was 148,000 in May 2003.
[2] Phyllis Bennis on Oct. 13, 2004 stated that the second largest contingent of soldiers were "contractors" – there are more of them than UK soldiers. She quoted an estimate of 20,000; at present 17 contractors are dying p/month. Ha'aretz quoted an estimate of 30,000 in July 2004.
[3] BBC, Oct. 14, 2004. NB: this is a likely an overestimate at present since the UK has pulled out one of its units without replacement.

Cost of the US-Iraq war
Through June 2004 [1] US$151bn
Estimate through 16-Dec-04 [2] US$181bn
[1] Source: Phyllis Bennis
[2] Updating using the estimates from the "Times Square" cost meter which is based on the following formula: "increases at a rate of $177 million per day, $7.4 million per hour and $122,820 per minute". Please note that Bennis's estimate refers only to the US budget allocations, and refer only to costs once the war started (Source: personal communication). These figures exclude: lead-up to the war, increasing "security" costs in the US, reduced trade with Arab countries, etc. The true cost of this war, if it can be computed at all, is much higher.

NB: The Pentagon recently reported that the cost p/month of the war had gone from US$4bn to US$5.8bn. Since these figures were reported by UPI, they will not be used until better estimates are published elsewhere. The current monthly cost estimate used to generate the current figure is about US$5.3bn/month.

Alternative estimates can be found here.

Last week saw a flurry of articles commenting on the thousandth US combat fatality. This number is a fraud, and it is in line with the Pentagon's attempt to minimize the extent of the reported casualties. First, is there a coalition fighting in Iraq? If so, why not report all fatalities. Second, the cause of death has been seriously fudged to reduce the reported number - most of the "traffic" fatalities are likely due to hostile action. Third, some articles mentioned the "1,000th combat casualty", again a silly means of minimizing the reported fatality. NB: Casualty implies fatalities and injuries. In the Pentagon's grisly accounting it doesn't publish the number of injuries/wounded, and thus using "casualty" in any report is deceptive.
Most of the reported number, especially milestones, are just slices of the carnage, and are disingenuous fudges.

Humvee rollovers are back! NB: during the first few months of the occupation of Iraq there were more than a dozen Humvee rollover fatalities. The cause of most of these fatalities is highly suspect as a simple analysis of the graph below will reveal. It seems that if a hostile attack triggers a "traffic accident", the casualties from the "accident" are listed as "non-hostile". This is fundamentally dishonest. The chances are small that a soldier with body armor and a helmet will get killed in a Humvee roll-over. If the rollover is caused due to an explosion or arms fire, then cause of death should be listed as a hostile. It is fairly clear that there are attempts to under-state the fatalities by tampering with the cause of death.

Remembrance down the Memory Hole…

Several of the "remembrance" websites are starting to neglect updating their output. The Seattle Times website has not been updated since March 2004.

Why this data sheet? The US military doesn’t allow the compilation and publication of Iraqi casualties, and it is very difficult to know how bloody the occupation of Iraq has resulted. The only indication of the intensity of the conflict are the military fatalities. We can use this as a proxy measure to determine if the occupation is a bloody quagmire or if the dust is finally settling on the rubble.

Furthermore, as demonstrated elsewhere, the Pentagon and their media surrogates are attempting to hide the true extent of the carnage among its soldiers. It is very difficult to find accurate fatality figures, the classification of fatalities leads to exclusion in the official death tally (“accidental” deaths are excluded), and the number of errors creeping into the official fatality reports is increasing, e.g., fatalities originally reported, but then not confirmed; long delays in reporting; excluding the subsequent deaths of wounded soldiers after they were transferred out of Iraq. If it is only the American and British fatalities that are going to stop this bloody occupation of Iraq then it behooves us to amplify the information on these fatalities — primarily to counteract the attempts by the Pentagon and its media surrogates to cover this over.

Please note that the graph updates on a weekly cycle ending on Wednesdays.

Another means to determine the intensity of the resistance against the US-uk troops is to analyze the average daily death toll for each month (first column). The center column pertains to a linear trend of the average fatality rate – enables one to obtain some (limited) perspective of how this will continue. The last column is the percentage of “hostile” fatalities out of the total for the month.

Month Average US-uk fatalities per day
(inc. hostile and other; 1-May-03 thru 15-Dec-04)
Linear trend of av. fatalities p/day Pct of fatalities due to hostile action
May 03 1.4 1.1        23%  (!!)
Jun 03 1.2 1.2 69%
Jul 03 1.6 1.3 57%
Aug 03 1.4 1.4 51%
Sep 03 1.1 1.5 58%
Oct 03 1.5 1.6 76%
Nov 03 2.8 1.7 87%
Dec 03 1.3 1.8 65%
Jan 04 1.7 1.9 79%
Feb 04 0.7 2.0 67%
Mar 04 1.7 2.1 65%
Apr 04 4.6 2.3 94%
May 04 2.7 2.4 81%
Jun 04 1.5 2.5 87%
Jul 04 1.8 2.6        80%  (!!)
Aug 04 2.3 2.7 85%
Sep 04 2.8 2.8 89%
Oct 04 2.2 2.9        90%  (!!)
Nov 04 4.7 3.0 92%
Dec 04  2.7* 3.1  80%*

The trend was calculated using monthly data using a simple linear regression (using only complete monthly data). The forecast and the trends indicated in the graph were derived from daily data. There have been some amendments to the early data because CentCom recently released data pertaining to earlier fatalities.

Asterisk indicates a statistic was computed on incomplete monthly data.

(!!): simply not credible.
(d): long delays in reporting.

The US and British armies are professional. (NB: a propaganda-compliant means of referring to them is: “volunteer army,” which they are not.) As soon as an army hires soldiers then there is a concern that it will not be representative of the population at large, and that it will hire minorities or poor in disproportionate numbers. The table below provides the race/ethnic composition of the US-uk fatalities, and the main objective is to determine if some minority groups are over-represented. The reader is responsible for the interpretation.

Race/ethnic group of US-uk soldiers
(1-May-03 – 15-Dec-04)
pct UK
White 839 71.0% 41 97.6%
Black / Afro-American 124 10.5% 0 0.0%
Hispanic 132 11.2% 0 0.0%
Other 39 3.3% 1 2.4%
NA 47 4.0% 0 0.0%
Total 1181   42  
Women 31 2.6% 1 2.4%
Classification done by author from photographs, last names, and additional archival search. This is an imperfect means of classification, but no other source is available.

This article deals specifically with the US Army composition and that of the fatalities.

Alternative official source.

Age of US-uk military fatalities post 1-May-03 thru 15-Dec-04
Age interval Percentage
age <= 25 59.9%
25 < age <= 35 28.4%
35 < age <= 45 10.2%
45 < age <= 55 1.5%
55 < age <= 65 0.1%

Is president Bush empathy-impaired or maybe callous? Judge for yourself.

Number of times president Bush has visited wounded soldiers or been present at funerals since May 1st 2003.
Funerals         0
Hospital visits 5
Jog around the White House with veteran limb-amputee with leg prostheses 1
Related article
Source: White House list of events schedule is checked regularly.

Explanatory Notes:

The propaganda-compliant terminology for the post-May 1st period is “after the end of major combat operations.” Of course, conceding that the US is occupying Iraq would mean that another justification for this war was a sham. This is the reason the common media terminology aims to avoid the usage of the word “occupation”.

The military fatality statistics are collated for the post May-1st period because this refers exclusively to the enforcement of the occupation of Iraq. Including the earlier fatalities would be confusing because it would include those incurred during the “hot war”. The nature of these fatalities is different, and therefore they should be analyzed separately. Furthermore, the concern now is to end the occupation of Iraq, and therefore Americans should be aware of the cost of this current policy.

Honest accounting would dictate the inclusion of all the military fatalities enforcing the occupation, and thus include British, Italians, Spanish, etc. It would be ideal to be able to include mercenary fatalities too — alas, no data is available. However, there is much work involved in collating quality data, and hence the data was restricted to the US and “uk” (yes, lowercase “uk” because they are less than 10% of the “coalition” contingent.)

NB: Whereas in previous conflicts “casualties” referred to both fatalities and wounded soldiers, in the current Pentagon arrogant and grisly accounting the wounded soldiers have been ignored. The statistics it makes available refer only to US military fatalities.

This analysis also aims to be as accurate as possible, and any observation about its accuracy should sent to Amplifications & Corrections.

On the data used. All entries are obtained from the US and UK military websites in the list found below. All the soldiers killed in Iraq or who were listed as “supporting the operations in Iraq” are included here — that is, some soldiers killed in Kuwait or in the Persian Gulf were also included here. Furthermore, if there is a good indication that a person was directly employed by the US-uk armies, then their fatality was also included. For example, in August a translator wearing a US army uniform was killed — he was included in this tally. There are a few instances where via Reuters or AP references can be found to fatalities, but subsequently these are not found in the official military sites. The unconfirmed fatalities are included if found in two or more reputable sources, e.g., Reuters, AP, BBC. All entries have been cross-checked with the LunaVille database, and there is a less than 1% discrepancy.

Articles providing further background information:

  • Teri Wills Allison, The Costs of War, TomDispatch, Oct. 20, 2004.
  • Alan Bavley, New technology and medical practices save lives in Iraq, Knight Ridder, Dec. 17, 2003.
  • AP, Number Of Troops Hurt In Iraq Jumps, AP, Apr. 24, 2004.
  • BBC, Five soldiers die in Iraqi blast, BBC Online, Mar. 31, 2004.
  • BBC, Pentagon fury at war dead photos, BBC Online, Apr. 23, 2004.
  • Walden Bello, With the US Army on Trial, Can “Fragging” be far behind?,, May 16, 2004.
  • Bryan Bender, US Casualty Rate High Since Handover: Long guerrilla war is feared in Iraq, CommonDreams, July 19, 2004.
  • Mark Benjamin, Press Reports on U.S. Casualties: About 17,000 Short, UPI Says, Editor&Publisher, Sept. 15, 2004. DemocracyNow audio discussion with Benjamin on the same subject. [P. de Rooij comment: the only thing that is a shame is the source of this report. See UPI info]
  • Mark Benjamin, Quagmire in Iraq: Casualties up to 11,700, DemocracyNow, Apr. 2, 2004.
  • Bill Berkowitz, 919 and counting, WorkingForChange, Aug. 4, 2004
  • Bill Berkowitz, An occupation by any other name , WorkingForChange, July 27, 2004
  • Bill Berkowitz, Mercenaries ‘R’ Us, AlterNet, Mar. 24, 2004.
  • Bill Berkowitz, The Military's Mounting Mental Health Problems, AlterNet, Apr. 29, 2004.
  • Christopher Brauchli, White House AWOL on Casualty Numbers, CommonDreams, Dec. 27, 2003.
  • Drew Brown, U.S. Deaths from Enemy Fire at Highest Level Since Vietnam, CommonDreams, Apr. 17, 2004.
  • Jonathan Brown, Was the tragic suicide of a TA soldier his final protest against an unjust war?, The Independent, Aug. 13, 2004.
  • Rinker Buck, Researchers Finding Surprises In Figures On Deaths In Iraq, CTNow, Sept. 28, 2004.
  • Nick Childs, US army acts on soldier suicides, BBC Online, Mar. 26, 2004.
  • Mark Clinton and Tony Udell, A Casualty Of Bush's War, ZNet, Sept. 30, 2004.
  • Partick Cockburn, US Death Toll in Iraq Hits 135 in November, CounterPunch, Dec. 2, 2004
  • Patrick Cockburn, Despair in Iraq over the forgotten victims of US invasion, The Independent, Sept. 9, 2004.
  • Patrick Cockburn, US Death Toll in Iraq Nears 1000, CounterPunch, Sept. 7, 2004
  • Patrick Cockburn, The US Death Toll Mounts, CounterPunch, Apr. 7, 2004.
  • Patrick Cockburn, The pretence of an independent Iraq, The Independent, June 22, 2004.
  • Juan Cole, Bloody Sunday: 110 Dead in Iraq, 200 Wounded, Informed Comment, Sept. 13, 2004.
  • Juan Cole, Iraq as the 51st state (an interview), Asia Times, June 18, 2004.
  • Nicole Colson, Maimed for Oil and Empire, DissidentVoice, Oct. 12, 2004.
  • Sandro Contenta, U.S. casualties grim cost of Iraq war, Toronto Star, Sept. 26, 2004.
  • Evan Derkacz, The Grief of Baghdad, AlterNet, Oct. 5, 2004.
  • Charles Duhigg, “Enemy Contact. Kill 'em, Kill 'em.”, LA Times, July 18, 2004.
  • E&P staff, Press Routinely Undercounts U.S. Casualties in Iraq, Editor & Publisher, Nov. 25, 2004.
  • Barbara Ehrenreich, Bush’s Odd Warfare State, CommonDreams, Mar. 31, 2004.
  • Ivan Eland, Body Count Redux, DissidentVoice, Feb. 18, 2004.
  • Gene Emery, Stress Disorders Hit U.S. Troops in Iraq - Study, ABC News, June 30, 2004.
  • Tom Engelhart, September 33rd, TomDispatch, Sept. 11, 2004.
  • John Aloysius Farrell, Deaths mounting, as is indifference, The Denver Post, Aug. 8, 2004.
  • Robert Fisk, ‘Can't Blair see that this country is about to explode? Can't Bush?’, The Independent, Aug. 1, 2004.
  • Robert Fisk, Unreported war: US document reveals scale of conflict, The Independent, July 29, 2004.
  • Robert Fisk and Patrick Cockburn, Deaths of scores of mercenaries not reported, The Star, Apr. 13, 2004.
  • NEW: Atul Gawande, Casualties of War — Military Care for the Wounded from Iraq and Afghanistan, The New England Journal of Medicine, Vol. 351:2471-2475 No. 24, Dec. 9, 2004
  • George Gedda, (bottom section): U.S., Halliburton officials confirm more bodies found , Durango Herald, Apr. 14, 2004.
  • Stan Goff, Body Count 1001, CounterPunch, Sept. 8, 2004
  • Suzanne Goldenberg, Pentagon counts the psychological cost of Iraq war as survey reveals suicide levels, The Guardian, Mar. 29, 2004.
  • Suzanne Goldenberg, Broken US troops face bigger enemy at home, The Guardian, Apr. 3, 2004.
  • Juan Gonzales, Daughter of Soldier Contaminated with Depleted Uranium in Iraq Born with Deformities, DemocracyNow, Sept. 30, 2004.
  • Juan Gonzalez, US Soldiers Contaminated With Depleted Uranium Speak Out, DemocracyNow, Apr. 5, 2004.
  • Adam Gorlick, Young Marine hanged himself after tour in Iraq, Lexington Herald, Nov. 25, 2004.
  • Erik Gustafson, US Casualties in Iraq, Informed Comment, Sept. 13, 2004.
  • David H. Hackworth, ‘With Deepest Sympathy’, DefenseWatch, Nov. 22, 2004.
  • Jeff Horwitz, Hiding the bodies, Salon, Sept. 8, 2004
  • Kim Housego, New Iraq attacks are more sophisticated, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Sept. 15, 2004.
  • Pauline Jelinek, Senate refuses to overturn Pentagon ban on media coverage of war victims' return, Boston Globe, June 21, 2004.
  • Robert Jensen, Support the Troops, CommonDreams, Apr. 8, 2004.
  • Matt Kelley, US soldiers’ suicide rate up in Iraq, AP, Jan. 14, 2004.
  • Senator Ted Kennedy, Speech on Iraq Policy, George Washington Univ., Sept. 27, 2004.
  • Paul Krugman, What About Iraq?, New York Times, Aug. 6, 2004.
  • Tom Lasseter, Marines prepare for heavy casualties in battle to retake Fallujah,, Nov. 4, 2004.
  • Tom Lasseter, Among Troops, Growing Doubts About Mission, Leaders Who Sent Them, CommonDreams, July 21, 2004.
  • Tom Lasseter, In the face of stubborn insurgency, troops scale back Anbar patrols, Knight Ridder Newspapers, July 20, 2004.
  • Tom Lasseter, Despite handover, U.S. troops battle insurgents with no end in sight, Knight Ridder Newspapers, July 5, 2004.
  • Matthew McAllester, They're burned, or blinded, or sparring with death, Newsday, Sept. 27, 2004
  • Patrick J. McDonnell, Sovereign Iraq Just as Deadly to U.S. Forces, LA Times, Aug. 31, 2004.
  • Patrick J. McDonnell, No Shortage of Fighters in Iraq's Wild West, LA Times, July 25, 2004.
  • Renae Merle, Contract Workers Are War's Forgotten Iraq Deaths Create Subculture of Loss, July 31, 2004
  • Seumas Milne, Bush and Blair have lit a fire which could consume them, The Guardian, Apr. 8, 2004.
  • Judy Muller, The Invisible Injury, ABC News, Oct. 6, 2004.
  • Ralph Nader, An Open Letter to George Bush, CommonDreams, Dec. 8, 2004
  • Ralph Nader, The Muslim Vote in Election 2004 (transcript), CNI, June 28, 2004.
  • New York Dialy News (no author), Army to test NY Guard unit, Apr. 5, 2004.
  • NEW: George E. Peoples, M.D., James R. Jezior, M.D., and Craig D. Shriver, M.D., Caring for the Wounded in Iraq — A Photo Essay, New England Journal of Medicine, Volume 351:2476-2480, No. 24, Dec. 9, 2004.
  • Thomas E. Ricks, U.S. troops' death rate rising in Iraq, Washington Post, Sept. 9, 2004
  • Wilson Ring, Widow of Maine Soldier Urges Americans to Question Policy,, May 6, 2004.
  • Paul Craig Roberts, Is the Bush Administration Certifiable?, CounterPunch, Dec. 6, 2004.
  • Paul de Rooij, For Whom the Death Tolls: Deliberate Undercounting of “Coalition” Fatalities, DissidentVoice, Jan. 24, 2004.
  • Paul de Rooij, Predictable Propaganda: Four Months of US Occupation of Iraq, DissidentVoice, Sept. 3, 2003.
  • Paul de Rooij, The Parade of the Body Bags, DissidentVoice, Aug. 2, 2003.
  • Matthew Rothschild, Interview with Phyllis Bennis: Paying the Price: The Mounting Costs of the Iraq War, Progressive Radio, July 13, 2004.
  • Natasha Saulnier, The Forgotten Soldiers of Operation "Iraqi Freedom",, Mar. 7, 2004.
  • Thomas F. Schaller, 2004 Iraq fatalities eclipse 2003, The Gadflyer, Aug. 26, 2004.
  • Christopher Scheer, Bush Ignores Soldiers’ Burials, AlterNet, Oct. 30, 2003.
  • Derek Seidman, An Interview with an Anti-war Veteran from the Iraq War Jim Talib, Lefthook, Nov. 29, 2004
  • NEW: Scott Shane, A Flood of Troubled Soldiers Is in the Offing, Experts Predict, New York Times, Dec. 16, 2004.
  • NEW: Bob Simon, Iraq: The Uncounted, CBS 60 Minutes, Nov. 21, 2004
  • Matthew B. Stannard, The invisible wound Though high-tech body armor saves lives on the battlefield, more and more troops are suffering traumatic head injuries, San Francisco Chronicle, July 14, 2004
  • Jonathan Steele, Driven by national pride: The US is creating its own Iraqi Gaza, Guardian, Apr. 2, 2004.
  • Frederick Sweet, Maimed in Iraq, then mistreated, neglected, and hidden in America, Intervention Magazine, Feb. 18, 2004
  • Karl Vick, U.S. injuries in August hit highest level of war, The Wichita Eagle, Sept. 5, 2004
  • Karl Vick, The Lasting Wounds of War, The Washington Post, Apr. 27, 2004.
  • David Walsh, Washington Conceals US Casualties in Iraq, Coastal Post Online, Mar. 2004.
  • Steve Wick, Coffin photo costs woman her job, Newsday, Apr. 23, 2004.
  • Scott Williams, New law limits details on injured troops, JSOnline, Oct. 3, 2004.
  • Edward Wyatt, In Iraq War, Death Also Comes to Soldiers in Autumn of Life, New York Times, July 18, 2004.
  • Howard Zinn, The Ultimate Betrayal, CommonDreams, Feb. 19, 2004.

Any insightful article on this topic will be added to this list. Please submit Recommendations.

Sources of basic data

  • Disinfopedia: "Iraq Coalition Casualty Statistics" — Important resource.
  • Important source of information.
  • Informed Comment  Commentary about the war in Iraq by Univ. of Michigan Prof. Juan Cole. This is essential reading, and it contains a summary of the daily casualties.
  • CentCom  As soon as a fatality occurs, a very basic notification is made available on this official US-military website. Caveat: This listing is not complete, and it often leaves out some fatalities — even some due to hostile causes. Further confusion is added because on a few occasions the fatality notification appeared in a release whose title had nothing to do with the incident leading to the death of a soldier, i.e., usually the heading indicates the nature of the press release, but this is not 100% the case. There are frequent errors, and if one cross checks with DefenseLink, Reuters, or AP, one finds errors in the number of soldiers killed and the dates of the event. NB: This website seldom announces fatalities due to “non-hostile” causes. Soldiers dying from accidents, heatstroke, suicide, etc., are usually only found in DefenseLink. Although very few obvious errors have been corrected in the past, for the past few month no corrections have been issued. Website reports on US military casualties exclusively, and it is updated daily.
  • DefenseLink  A few days after the fatality has been announced by CentCom, there is a confirmation including the name and age of the soldier on this website. Again, the same problems found with CentCom are found here. However, “non-hostile” fatalities are usually only found on this webiste. While CentCom mentions instances of wounded personnel (and then only if in the same incident there have been fatalities), DefenseLink does not mention them. Although a few obvious errors have been corrected in the past, for the past few month no corrections have been issued. NB: There are quite a few errors in the announcements and sometimes it is not possible to reach the older records — a problem that seems to have been rectified recently, but it is not clear if the complete archive is available. Website reports on US military casualties exclusively, and it is updated daily.
  • MOD: Operation Telic   This is the British Ministry of Defense website, and it is very good quality. Note the fact that the notices given for the fatalities contain a tribute to the soldiers and express regret. This stands in stark contrast with the US military notifications that are cold renderings of some statistic. This website reports on British military casualties exclusively, and it is updated daily.
  • Iraq Coalition Casualty Count (formerly known as LunaVille )   A very good quality data source including most “coalition” fatalities. It has an excellent quality running news column — updated regularly. Some graphics and tables are available on the website. Downside: some of the time periods available for analysis are odd. However, this is a valuable website — the best website where one can obtain data for analysis and not for "remembrance". Note that LunaVille removes CentCom announced fatalities if DefenseLink doesn't confirm them.
  • CNN   Good quality data on US and some “coalition” fatalities with a photo for most of the victims. Updated daily except weekends. Downside: it is not possible to obtain meaningful tabulations or graphs from the data.
  • Baltimore Sun Good collection of US military fatality information. Updated regularly, and more up-to-date than CNN or Washington Post.
  • Washington Post   Easy to use website with photos of US fatalities exclusively. This website is best for an overview of the photos of all soldiers. Downside: updated irregularly although it is supposed to be updated every Friday — and it almost seems as if they have given up updating it completely. It is also not possible to view the data in a graph or tabulate it in a meaningful way.
  • Memory Hole  The media references to “injuries” don’t convey the meaning of what has happened to these soldiers. The image of these wounded soldiers is banned from most media, and therefore it is instructive to examine the photos in this important website. There are also some shocking photos of the mercenaries killed in Falluja on Mar. 31st.
  • BBC  A poor quality list of the US soldier fatalities. Although it is a British news group, it only publishes American casualties! It is odd to say the least. Furthermore, it only publishes the “hostile” category fatalities; it excludes soldiers killed clearing mines, heatstroke, suicides, etc. The main purpose of this list is to justify using the low propaganda-compliant fatality numbers. It is updated irregularly.
  • Hendersonville Police Dept.  is a rather tacky website, but it has the largest number of photos of US fatalities.

Paul de Rooij can be reached at  (NB: all emails with attachments will be automatically deleted). © 2004 Paul de Rooij