Monday, July 28, 2008

... and counting ...

(Occasional sobering thoughts.) Amid news that:
► the mid-July death by natural causes of Air Force Technical Sergeant of Jackie L. Larsen (below right), a 37-year-old paralegal from Tacoma, Washington, marked the 100th death of an American woman servicemember in Iraq since a U.S.-led coalition invaded that country in March 2003; and
► officials of the United States and other NATO countries "have launched investigations into three separate U.S.-led airstrikes that Afghan officials say killed at least 78 civilians this month";
here's the available count of casualties in those 2 conflicts in the 5 weeks since we last reported. According to Iraq Body Count, between 86,312 and 94,174 Iraqi women, children, and men have died in the conflict. That's an increase of between 1,589 and 1,760 deaths in the last 5 weeks. According to the U.S. Defense Department, 4,124 American servicemembers have been killed in Iraq. Total coalition fatalities: 4,438 persons. That's 24 servicemember deaths in the last 5 weeks, all but 1 of them Americans. Military casualties in the conflict in Afghanistan stand at 560 Americans and 329 other coalition servicemembers, an increase of 37 and 3, respectively, in the last 5 weeks.
Typically "...and counting..." has not included figures on civilian casualties in Afghanistan, for the reason that we've been unable to find a source for consistent counting like those linked above for other counts. But the news of the new investigation offered some figures on civilians in Afghanistan:
An estimated 698 civilians were killed in the first six months of this year, compared with 430 during the same period last year, the United Nations says. Of those, 255 were killed by NATO forces.

No comments: