Winslow T. Wheeler, former staffer at the Senate Budget Committee, currently working for the Center for Defense Information, has just published an extraordinary analysis of American casualties in Iraq which he says total more than 44,000 servicemen have died or been injured. (You can read his article at counterpunch.com.)
Here is a thumbnail rundown of his findings, which are mostly based on two well-known sources.
In October 2006, 104 uniformed American military personnel died in the war in Iraq. As of Nov. 1 of this year, 2,817 Americans have died in the war of all causes; 239 military personnel have been killed from other countries (UK: 120; “other”: 119), for a grand total of 3,055 deaths from the coalition forces. (See these and more data at Iraq Coalition Casualty Count.)
More from Wheeler: “The leading cause of non-hostile deaths were vehicle accidents (201 deaths, or 7 percent of the total). Other causes included: helicopter accidents: 74, or 3 percent; weapon accidents: 76, or 3 percent; friendly fire: 8, or 0.3 percent; homicides: 7, or 0.2 percent; and suicides: 3, or 0.1 percent.”
The wounded category is the most startling. “Contrary to the approximate 20,000 wounded that the press typically reports, the www.icasualties.org website reports the following: 14,414 wounded — no medical air transport required; 6,273 wounded — medical air transport required; 6,430 non-hostile injuries — medical air transport required; 17,662 diseases — medical air transport required.”
Thus, he reports, “Grand Total: 44,779… Counting all forms of wounds, injuries, and illness, the total ‘casualties’ are more than twice the number typically reported in the press.”