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Casualties of the Iraq War

White and red flags, representing Iraqi and American deaths, respectively, sit in the grass quadrangle of The Valley Library on the Corvallis, Oregon, campus of Oregon State University. As part of the traveling Iraq Body Count exhibit from 2008 to 2009 (not related to Iraq Body Count project), the flags aim to "raise awareness of the human cost of the Iraq War." (May 2008)

Estimates of the casualties from the conflict in Iraq (beginning with the 2003 US invasion of Iraq, and the ensuing occupation and insurgency) have come in many forms, and the accuracy of the information available on different types of Iraq War casualties varies greatly.

Credible estimates of Iraq War casualties range from 150,000 to 460,000.[1] Other highly disputed estimates, such as the 2006 Lancet study, and the 2007 Opinion Research Business survey, put the numbers as high as 650,000 and 1.2 million respectively, while body counts, which likely underestimate mortality put the numbers as low as 110,000.[1]

Contents

TablesEdit

The tables below summarize reports on Iraqi casualty figures.

Scientific surveys:

Source Estimated violent deaths Time period
Iraq Family Health Survey 151,000 violent deaths March 2003 to June 2006
Lancet survey 601,027 violent deaths out of 654,965 excess deaths March 2003 to June 2006
PLOS Medicine Survey[2] 460,000 deaths in Iraq as direct or indirect result of the war including 276,000 deaths directly caused by war-related violence. March 2003 to June, 2011

Body counts:

Source Documented deaths from violence Time period
Associated Press 110,600 violent deaths March 2003 to April 2009
Iraq Body Count project 112,667–123,284 civilian deaths from violence. 174,000 civilian and combatant deaths[3][4][5][6] March 2003 to March 2013
Classified Iraq War Logs[3][7][8][9] 109,032 deaths including 66,081 civilian deaths.[10][11] January 2004 to December 2009

Overview: Iraqi death estimates by source Summary of casualties of the Iraq War. Possible estimates on the number of people killed in the invasion and occupation of Iraq vary widely,[12] and are highly disputed. Estimates of casualties below include both the 2003 invasion of Iraq and the following Post-invasion Iraq, 2003–present.

Iraq war logs

Classified US military documents released by WikiLeaks in October 2010, record Iraqi and Coalition military deaths between January 2004 and December 2009.[3][7][8][9][13][13][14] The documents record 109,032 deaths broken down into "Civilian" (66,081 deaths), "Host Nation" (15,196 deaths),"Enemy" (23,984 deaths), and "Friendly" (3,771 deaths).[11][15]

Iraqi Health Ministry

The Health Ministry of the Iraqi government recorded 87,215 Iraqi violent deaths between January 1, 2005, and February 28, 2009. The data was in the form of a list of yearly totals for death certificates issued for violent deaths by hospitals and morgues. The official who provided the data told the Associated Press said the ministry does not have figures for the first two years of the war, and estimated the actual number of deaths at 10 to 20 percent higher because of thousands who are still missing and civilians who were buried in the chaos of war without official records.[16]

The Associated Press

Associated Press stated that more than 110,600 Iraqis had been killed since the start of the war to April 2009. This number is per the Health Ministry tally of 87,215 covering January 1, 2005, to February 28, 2009 combined with counts of casualties for 2003–2004, and after February 29, 2009, from hospital sources and media reports.[16] For more info see farther down at The Associated Press and Health Ministry. More information.

Iraq Body Count

The Iraq Body Count project (IBC) figure of Documented civilian deaths from violence is 173,686 – 193,965 as of April 2017. This includes reported civilian deaths due to Coalition and insurgent military action, sectarian violence and increased criminal violence.[17] The IBC site states: "it should be noted that many deaths will probably go unreported or unrecorded by officials and media."[18] The IBC website currently states that, "Further analysis of the WikiLeaks' Iraq War Logs may add 12,000 civilian deaths."

Iraq Family Health Survey

Iraq Family Health Survey for the World Health Organization.[19][20] On January 9, 2008, the World Health Organization reported the results of the "Iraq Family Health Survey" published in The New England Journal of Medicine.[21] The study surveyed 9,345 households across Iraq and estimated 151,000 deaths due to violence (95% uncertainty range, 104,000 to 223,000) from March 2003 through June 2006. Employees of the Iraqi Health Ministry carried out the survey.[22][23][24] See also farther down: Iraq Family Health Survey.

Opinion Research Business

Opinion Research Business (ORB) poll conducted August 12–19, 2007, estimated 1,033,000 violent deaths due to the Iraq War. The range given was 946,000 to 1,120,000 deaths. A nationally representative sample of approximately 2,000 Iraqi adults answered whether any members of their household (living under their roof) were killed due to the Iraq War. 22% of the respondents had lost one or more household members. ORB reported that "48% died from a gunshot wound, 20% from the impact of a car bomb, 9% from aerial bombardment, 6% as a result of an accident and 6% from another blast/ordnance."[25][26][27][28][29]

United Nations

The United Nations reported that 34,452 violent deaths occurred in 2006, based on data from morgues, hospitals, and municipal authorities across Iraq.[30]

Lancet studies

The Lancet study's figure of 654,965 excess deaths through the end of June 2006 is based on household survey data. The estimate is for all excess violent and nonviolent deaths. That also includes those due to increased lawlessness, degraded infrastructure, poorer healthcare, etc. 601,027 deaths (range of 426,369 to 793,663 using a 95% confidence interval) were estimated to be due to violence. 31% of those were attributed to the Coalition, 24% to others, 46% unknown. The causes of violent deaths were gunshot (56%), car bomb (13%), other explosion/ordnance (14%), airstrike (13%), accident (2%), unknown (2%). A copy of a death certificate was available for a high proportion of the reported deaths (92% of those households asked to produce one).[31][32][33]

PLOS Medicine Study

The PLOS Medicine study's figure of approximately 460,000 excess deaths through the end of June 2011 is based on household survey data including at least 276,000 deaths that were caused directly by war-related violence. The estimate is for all excess violent and nonviolent deaths. That also includes those due to increased lawlessness, degraded infrastructure, poorer healthcare, etc. 405,000 deaths (range of 48,000 to 751,000 using a 95% confidence interval) were estimated as excess deaths attributable to the conflict. They estimated at least 55,000 additional deaths occurred that the survey missed, as the families had migrated out of Iraq. The survey found that more than 60% of excess deaths were caused by violence, with the rest caused indirectly by the war, through degradation of infrastructure and similar causes. The survey notes that although car bombs received more significant press internationally, gunshot wounds were responsible for the majority (63%) of violent deaths. The study also estimated that 35% of violent deaths were attributed to the Coalition, and 32% to militias. Cardiovascular conditions accounted for about half (47%) of nonviolent deaths, chronic illnesses 11%, infant or childhood deaths other than injuries 12.4%, non-war injuries 11%, and cancer 8%.[2]

Ali al-Shemari (previous Iraqi Health Minister)

Concerning war-related deaths (civilian and non-civilian), and deaths from criminal gangs, Iraq's Health Minister Ali al-Shemari said that since the March 2003 invasion between 100,000 and 150,000 Iraqis had been killed.[34] "Al-Shemari said on Thursday [November 9, 2006] that he based his figure on an estimate of 100 bodies per day brought to morgues and hospitals – though such a calculation would come out closer to 130,000 in total."[35] For more info see farther down at Iraq Health Minister estimate in November 2006.

Costs of War Project

176,000–189,000 people were killed in violence in the Iraq war, including 134,000 civilians (using Iraq Body Count's figures), according to the findings of the Costs of War Project, a team of 30 economists, anthropologists, political scientists, legal experts, and physicians assembled by Brown University and the Watson Institute to study the effects of wars involving the United States since 2001. The project also examined the economic costs of the Iraq war, as well as the human and economic cost of war in Afghanistan and Pakistan.[36][37][38]

Overview: Death estimates by group

Iraqi Security Forces (aligned with Coalition)

From June 2003, through December 31, 2010, there have been 16,623 Iraqi military and police killed based on several estimates.[39] The Iraq Index of the Brookings Institution keeps a running total of ISF casualties.[40] There is also a breakdown of ISF casualties at the iCasualties.org website.[41]

Iraqi insurgents

From June 2003, through September 30, 2011, there have been 26,320-27,000+ Iraqi insurgents killed based on several estimates.[42]

Media and aid workers

136 journalists and 51 media support workers were killed on duty according to the numbers listed on source pages on February 24, 2009.[43][44][45] (See Category:Journalists killed while covering the Iraq War.) 94 aid workers have been killed according to a November 21, 2007, Reuters article.[46][47]

U.S. armed forces

 
Graph of monthly deaths of U.S. military personnel in Iraq from beginning of war to June 24, 2008.[48]

As of June 29, 2016, according to the U.S. Department of Defense casualty website, there were 4,424 total deaths (including both killed in action and non-hostile) and 31,952 wounded in action (WIA) as a result of Operation Iraqi Freedom. As a part of Operation New Dawn, which was initiated on September 1, 2010, there were 73 total deaths (including KIA and non-hostile) and 295 WIA.[49] See the references for a breakdown of the wounded, injured, ill, those returned to duty (RTD), those requiring medical air transport, non-hostile-related medical air transports, non-hostile injuries, diseases, or other medical reasons.[49][50][51][52][53][54][55]

Coalition deaths by hostile fire

As of 23 October 2011, hostile-fire deaths accounted for 3,777 of the 4,799 total coalition military deaths.[56]

Armed forces of other coalition countries

See Multinational force in Iraq.

As of 24 February 2009, there were 318 deaths from the armed forces of other Coalition nations. 179 UK deaths and 139 deaths from other nations. Breakdown:[50][51][57]

  • Australia — 2
  • Azerbaijan — 1
  • Bulgaria — 13
  • Czech Republic — 1
  • Denmark — 7
  • El Salvador — 5
  • Estonia — 2
  • Fiji — 1
  • Georgia — 5
  • Hungary — 1
  • Italy — 33
  • Kazakhstan — 1
  • Latvia — 3
  • Netherlands — 2
  • Poland — 30
  • Portugal — 1
  • Romania — 4
  • Slovakia — 4
  • South Korea — 1
  • Spain — 11
  • Thailand — 2
  • Ukraine — 18
  • United Kingdom — 179

Contractors

Contractors. At least 1,487 deaths between March 2003 and June 2011 according to the list of private contractor deaths in Iraq. 245 of those are from the U.S.[58][59][60][61][62] Contractors are "Americans, Iraqis and workers from more than three dozen other countries."[63] 10,569 wounded or injured.[58] Contractors "cook meals, do laundry, repair infrastructure, translate documents, analyze intelligence, guard prisoners, protect military convoys, deliver water in the heavily fortified Green Zone and stand sentry at buildings – often highly dangerous duties almost identical to those performed by many U.S. troops."[64] A July 4, 2007, Los Angeles Times article reported 182,000 employees of U.S.-government-funded contractors and subcontractors (118,000 Iraqi, 43,000 other, 21,000 U.S.).[59][65]

Overview: Iraqi injury estimates by source

Iraqi Human Rights Ministry

The Human Rights Ministry of the Iraqi government recorded 250,000 Iraqi injuries between 2003 and 2012.[66] The ministry had earlier reported that 147,195 injuries were recorded for the period 2004–2008.[67]

Iraqi Government

Iraqi Government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh reported that 239,133 Iraqi injuries were recorded by the government between 2004 and 2011.[68]

Iraq war logs

Classified US military documents released by WikiLeaks in October 2010, recorded 176,382 injuries, including 99,163 civilian injuries between January 2004 and December 2009.[69]

Iraq Body Count

The Iraq Body Count project reported that there were at least 20,000 civilian injuries in the earliest months of the war between March and July 2003.[70] A follow up report noted that at least 42,500 civilians were reported wounded in the first two years of the war between March 2003 and March 2005.[71]

UN Assistance Mission for Iraq

The United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) reported that there were 36,685 Iraqi injuries during the year 2006.[72]

Iraqi Health Ministry

The Health Ministry of the Iraqi government reported that 38,609 Iraqi injuries had occurred during the year 2007, based on statistics derived from official Iraqi health departments' records. Baghdad had the highest number of injuries (18,335), followed by Nineveh (6,217), Basra (1,387) and Kirkuk (655).[73]

Additional statistics for the Iraq WarEdit

Overview of casualties by type
(see the rest of the article below for more info)
Dead
  • Iraqis:
  • Deadliest single insurgent bombings:[74]
  • Other deadly days:
    • November 23, 2006, (281 killed) and April 18, 2007, (233 killed):
      • "4 bombings in Baghdad kill at least 183. ... Nationwide, the number of people killed or found dead on Wednesday [, April 18, 2007, ] was 233, which was the second deadliest day in Iraq since Associated Press began keeping records in May 2005. Five car bombings, mortar rounds and other attacks killed 281 people across Iraq on November 23, 2006, according to the AP count."[75]
 
Graph of monthly wounded in action of U.S. military personnel in Iraq.[55]
Wounded in action
  • As of January 12, 2007, 500 U.S. troops have undergone amputations due to the Iraq War. Toes and fingers are not counted.[76]
  • As of September 30, 2006, 725 American troops have had limbs amputated from wounds received in Iraq and Afghanistan.[77]
  • A 2006 study by the Walter Reed Medical Center, which serves more critically injured soldiers than most VA hospitals, concluded that 62 percent of patients there had suffered a brain injury.[78]
  • In March 2003, U.S. military personnel were wounded in action at a rate averaging about 350 per month. As of September 2007, this rate has increased to about 675 per month.[55]
Injured/fallen ill
  • U.S. military: number unknown.
    • An October 18, 2005, USA Today article reports:
      • "More than one in four U.S. troops have come home from the Iraq war with health problems that require medical or mental health treatment, according to The Pentagon's first detailed screening of service members leaving a war zone."[79]
  • Iraqi combatants: number unknown
Refugees
  • As of November 4, 2006, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees estimated that 1.8 million Iraqis had been displaced to neighboring countries, and 1.6 million were displaced internally, with nearly 100,000 Iraqis fleeing to Syria and Jordan each month.[80]

Iraqi invasion casualtiesEdit

Franks reportedly estimated soon after the invasion that there had been 30,000 Iraqi casualties as of April 9, 2003.[81] That number comes from the transcript of an October 2003 interview of U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld with journalist Bob Woodward. They were discussing a number reported by The Washington Post.[when?] But neither could remember the number clearly, nor whether it was just for deaths, or both deaths and wounded.

A May 28, 2003, Guardian article reported "Extrapolating from the death-rates of between 3% and 10% found in the units around Baghdad, one reaches a toll of between 13,500 and 45,000 dead among troops and paramilitaries.[82]

An October 20, 2003, study by the Project on Defense Alternatives at Commonwealth Institute in Cambridge, Massachusetts, estimated that for March 19, 2003, to April 30, 2003, the "probable death of approximately 11,000 to 15,000 Iraqis, including approximately 3,200 to 4,300 civilian noncombatants."[83][84]

The Iraq Body Count project (IBC) documented a higher number of civilian deaths up to the end of the major combat phase (May 1, 2003). In a 2005 report,[85] using updated information, the IBC reported that 7,299 civilians are documented to have been killed, primarily by U.S. air and ground forces. There were 17,338 civilian injuries inflicted up to May 1, 2003. The IBC says its figures are probably underestimates because: "many deaths will probably go unreported or unrecorded by officials and media."[18]

Iraqi civilian casualtiesEdit

 
A soldier carries a wounded Iraqi child into the Charlie Medical Centre at Camp Ramadi, Iraq (March 20, 2007).

Iraq Body Count projectEdit

An independent UK/US group, the IBC project compiles reported Iraqi civilian deaths resulting from the invasion and occupation, including those caused directly by coalition military action, the Iraqi insurgency, and those resulting from excess crime. The IBC maintains that the occupying authority has a responsibility to prevent these deaths under international law. The IBC project attributed the majority of civilians death from 2003 to 2011 to unknown actors.[86]

Iraq Body Count project data shows that the type of attack that resulted in the most civilian deaths was execution after abduction or capture. These accounted for 33% of civilian deaths and were overwhelmingly carried out by unknown actors including insurgents, sectarian militias and criminals.[87]

The Iraq Body Count project (IBC project), incorporating subsequent reports, has reported that by the end of the major combat phase up to April 30, 2003, 7,419 civilians had been killed, primarily by U.S. air-and-ground forces.[17][85]

It shows a total range of at least 155,923 – 174,355 documented civilian deaths from violence in Iraq as of March 20, 2016.[17][88]

This total represents civilian deaths due to war-related violence that have been reported by media organizations, non-governmental-organization-based reports, and official records.[18] The IBC project has been criticized by some who believe it counts only a small percentage of the number of actual deaths because of its reliance on media sources.[29][89] The IBC project's director, John Sloboda, has stated, "We've always said our work is an undercount, you can't possibly expect that a media-based analysis will get all the deaths."[90] However, the IBC project rejects many of these criticisms as exaggerated or misinformed.[91]

 
A disabled 28-year-old Iraqi woman lost both of her legs during combat operations (May 7, 2006)

Following are the yearly IBC Project civilian death totals, broken down by month from the beginning of 2003 until the US pullout in December 2011.[17]

Total (2003–2011): 116,277













Iraqi casualties Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Total
2003 3 2 3977 3435 545 598 646 825 566 516 487 525 12,125
2004 610 663 1004 1303 655 909 834 878 1042 1029 1663 1120 11,710
2005 1203 1292 904 1145 1396 1347 1536 2290 1428 1301 1467 1133 16,442
2006 1546 1577 1957 1804 2277 2584 3298 2865 2565 2996 3084 2898 29,451
2007 3017 2678 2726 2565 2844 2199 2694 2481 1387 1324 1124 996 26,036
2008 858 1092 1667 1315 914 750 639 704 612 594 540 586 10,271
2009 372 407 438 589 428 563 431 653 343 441 226 478 5,369
2010 267 305 336 385 387 385 488 520 254 315 307 218 4,167
2011 389 254 311 289 381 386 308 401 397 366 279 -- --

Concerning the yearly totals, IBC project states: "All figures are taken from the "maximum" confirmed deaths in the IBC database. However, IBC's rates and counts will rise over the coming months, as data is still being added to the IBC database for 2006 and other periods covered here."[92]

The IBC project released a report detailing the deaths it recorded between March 2003 and March 2005[85] in which it recorded 24,865 civilian deaths. The report says the U.S. and its allies were responsible for the largest share (37%) of the 24,865 deaths. The remaining deaths were attributed to anti-occupations forces (9%), crime (36%) and unknown agents (11%). It also lists the primary sources used by the media – mortuaries, medics, Iraqi officials, eyewitnesses, police, relatives, U.S.-coalition, journalists, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), friends/associates and other.

People's KifahEdit

The Iraqi political party People's Kifah, or Struggle Against Hegemony (PK) said that its survey conducted between March and June 2003 throughout the non-Kurdish areas of Iraq tallied 36,533 civilians killed in those areas by June 2003. While detailed town-by-town totals were given by the PK spokesperson, details of methodology are very thin and raw data is not in the public domain. A still-less-detailed report on this study appeared some months later on Al Jazeera's website, and covered casualties up to October 2003.[93]

Iraqi refugees crisisEdit

Roughly 40 percent of Iraq's middle class is believed to have fled, the U.N. said. Most are fleeing systematic persecution and have no desire to return. All kinds of people, from university professors to bakers, have been targeted by militias, Iraqi insurgents and criminals. An estimated 331 school teachers were slain in the first four months of 2006, according to Human Rights Watch, and at least 2,000 Iraqi doctors have been killed and 250 kidnapped since the 2003 U.S. invasion.[94]

Coalition military casualtiesEdit

Coalition deaths by country

  USA: 4,491
  UK: 179
  Italy: 33
  Poland: 23
  Ukraine: 18
  Bulgaria: 13
  Spain: 11
  Denmark: 7
  El Salvador: 5
  Georgia: 5
  Slovakia: 4
  Latvia: 3
  Romania: 3
  Australia: 2
  Estonia: 2
  Netherlands: 2
  Thailand: 2
  Azerbaijan: 1
  Czech Republic: 1
  Fiji: 1
  Hungary: 1
  Kazakhstan: 1
  South Korea: 1

TOTAL: 4,809

 
Most U.S. casualties, like these in a C-17 military transport aircraft, return to Dover Air Force Base in Dover, Delaware. (unknown date)

For the latest casualty numbers see the overview chart at the top of the page. See also the icasualties.org site:[50]

Since the official handover of power to the Iraqi Interim Government on June 28, 2004, coalition soldiers have continued to come under attack in towns across Iraq.

National Public Radio, iCasualties.org, and GlobalSecurity.org have month-by-month charts of American troop deaths in the Iraq War.[12][95][96]

 
A U.S. Marine killed in April 2003 is carried away after receiving his Last Rites.

The combined total of coalition and contractor casualties in the conflict is now over ten times that of the 1990–1991 Gulf War. In the Gulf War, coalition forces suffered around 378 deaths, and among the Iraqi military, tens of thousands were killed, along with thousands of civilians.

Troops fallen ill, injured, or woundedEdit

See the overview chart at the top of the page for recent numbers.

On August 29, 2006, The Christian Science Monitor reported:[97] "Because of new body armor and advances in military medicine, for example, the ratio of combat-zone deaths to those wounded has dropped from 24 percent in Vietnam to 13 percent in Iraq and Afghanistan. In other words, the numbers of those killed as a percentage of overall casualties is lower."

 
Wounded U.S. personnel flown from Iraq to Ramstein Air Base, Germany, for medical treatment. (February 2007)

Many U.S. veterans of the Iraq War have reported a range of serious health issues, including tumors, daily blood in urine and stool, sexual dysfunction, migraines, frequent muscle spasms, and other symptoms similar to the debilitating symptoms of "Gulf War syndrome" reported by many veterans of the 1991 Gulf War, which some believe is related to the U.S.'s use of radioactive depleted uranium.[98]

A study of U.S. veterans published in July 2004 in The New England Journal of Medicine on posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other mental disorders in Iraq and Afghanistan veterans found that 5 percent to 9.4 percent (depending on the strictness of the PTSD definition used) suffered from PTSD before deployment. After deployment, 6.2 percent to 19.9 percent suffered from PTSD. For the broad definition of PTSD that represents an increase of 10.5 percent (19.9 percent – 9.4 percent = 10.5 percent). That is 10,500 additional cases of PTSD for every 100,000 U.S. troops after they have served in Iraq. ePluribus Media, an independent citizen journalism collective, is tracking and cataloging press-reported possible, probable, or confirmed incidents of post-deployment or combat-zone cases in its PTSD Timeline.[99]

Information on injuries suffered by troops of other coalition countries is less readily available, but a statement in Hansard indicated that 2,703 U.K. soldiers had been medically evacuated from Iraq for wounds or injuries as of October 4, 2004, and that 155 U.K. troops were wounded in combat in the initial invasion.[100]

Leishmaniasis has been reported by U.S. troops stationed in Iraq, including visceral leishmaniasis.[101] Leishmaniasis, spread by biting sand fleas, was diagnosed in hundreds of U.S. troops compared to just 32 during the first Gulf War.[102]

Accidents and negligenceEdit

As of August 2008, sixteen American troops have died from accidental electrocutions in Iraq according to the Defense Department.[103] One soldier had been electrocuted in a shower, while another had been electrocuted in a swimming pool. KBR, the contractor responsible, had been warned by employees of unsafe practices, and was criticised following the revelations.[104]

Nightline controversyEdit

Ted Koppel, host of ABC's Nightline, devoted his entire show on April 30, 2004, to reading the names of 721 of the 737 U.S. troops who had died thus far in Iraq. (The show had not been able to confirm the remaining sixteen names.) Claiming that this would constitute a political statement, the Sinclair Broadcast Group took the action of barring the seven ABC network-affiliated stations it controls from airing the show. The decision to censor the broadcast drew criticism from both sides, including members of the armed forces, opponents of the war, MoveOn.org, and most notably Republican U.S. Senator John McCain, who denounced the move as "unpatriotic" and "a gross disservice to the public".

AmputeesEdit

 
Amputee U.S. soldier (February 2007)

As of January 18, 2007, there were at least 500 American amputees due to the Iraq War. The amputees represent 2.2% of the 22,700 U.S. troops wounded in action (5% for soldiers whose wounds prevented them returning to duty).[76]

Traumatic brain injuriesEdit

By March 2009, the Pentagon estimated as many as 360,000 U.S. veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts may have suffered traumatic brain injuries (TBI), including 45,000 to 90,000 veterans with persistent symptoms requiring specialized care.[105]

In February 2007, one expert from the VA estimated that the number of undiagnosed TBIs were higher than 7,500.[106]

According to USA Today, by November 2007 there were more than an estimated 20,000 US troops who had signs of brain injuries without being classified as wounded during combat in Iraq and Afghanistan.[107]

Mental illness and suicideEdit

A top U.S. Army psychiatrist, Colonel Charles Hoge, said in March 2008 that nearly 30% of troops on their third deployment suffered from serious mental-health problems, and that one year was not enough time between combat tours.[108]

A March 12, 2007, Time article[109] reported on a study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine. About one third of the 103,788 veterans returning from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars seen at U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs facilities between September 30, 2001, and September 30, 2005, were diagnosed with mental illness or a psycho-social disorder, such as homelessness and marital problems, including domestic violence. More than half of those diagnosed, 56 percent, were suffering from more than one disorder. The most common combination was post-traumatic stress disorder and depression.

In January 2008, the U.S. Army reported that the rate of suicide among soldiers in 2007 was the highest since the Army started counting in 1980. There were 121 suicides in 2007, a 20-percent jump over the prior year. Also, there were around 2100 attempted suicides and self-injuries in 2007.[110] Other sources reveal higher estimates.[111]

Time magazine reported on June 5, 2008:

Data contained in the Army's fifth Mental Health Advisory Team report indicate that, according to an anonymous survey of U.S. troops taken last fall, about 12% of combat troops in Iraq and 17% of those in Afghanistan are taking prescription antidepressants or sleeping pills to help them cope. ... About a third of soldiers in Afghanistan and Iraq say they can't see a mental-health professional when they need to. When the number of troops in Iraq surged by 30,000 last year, the number of Army mental-health workers remained the same – about 200 – making counseling and care even tougher to get.[108]

In the same article Time also reported on some of the reasons for the prescription drug use:

That imbalance between seeing the price of war up close and yet not feeling able to do much about it, the survey suggests, contributes to feelings of "intense fear, helplessness or horror" that plant the seeds of mental distress. "A friend was liquefied in the driver's position on a tank, and I saw everything", was a typical comment. Another: "A huge f______ bomb blew my friend's head off like 50 meters from me." Such indelible scenes — and wondering when and where the next one will happen — are driving thousands of soldiers to take antidepressants, military psychiatrists say. It's not hard to imagine why.[108]

Concern has been expressed by mental health professionals about the effects on the emotional health and development of returning veterans' infants and children, due to the increased rates of interpersonal violence, posttraumatic stress, depression, and substance abuse that have been reported among these veterans.[112][113][114] Moreover, the stressful effects of physical casualties and loss pose enormous stress for the primary caregiver that can adversely affect her or his parenting, as well as the couple's children directly.[115] The mental health needs of military families in the aftermath of combat exposure and other war-related trauma have been thought likely to be inadequately addressed by the military health system that separates mental health care of the returning soldier from his or her family's care, the latter of whom is generally covered under a contracted, civilian managed-care system.[113][112]

Iraqi insurgent casualtiesEdit

In 2003, 597 insurgents were killed, according to the U.S. military.[116] From January 2004 through December 2009 (not including May 2004 and March 2009), 23,984 insurgents were estimated to have been killed based on reports from Coalition soldiers on the frontlines.[117] In the two missing months from the estimate, 652 were killed in May 2004,[118] and 45 were killed in March 2009.[119] In 2010, another 676 insurgents were killed.[120] In January and March through October 2011, 451 insurgents were killed.[121][122][123][124][125][126][127][128][129] Based on all of these estimates some 26,405 insurgents/militia were killed from 2003, up until late 2011.

However, this number could be an overestimate and may include some civilian fatalities, since there have been contradictions between the figures released by the U.S. military and those released by the Iraqi government. For example, the U.S. military's number of insurgents killed in 2005, is 3,247, which is in contrast to the Iraqi government's figure of 1,734.[130] In 2007, 4,544 militants were killed according to the Iraqi ministries,[131] while the U.S. military claimed 6,747 died. Also, in 2008, 2,028 insurgents were reported killed[132] and in 2009, with the exception of the month of June, 488 were killed according to the Iraqi Defence Ministry.[133] These numbers are also not in line with the U.S. military estimate of some 3,984 killed in 2008 and 2009.[134]

U.S. military- and Iraqi Defence Ministry-provided numbers, including suicide bombers

  • 2011 – 451 (not including February & August)
  • 2010 – 676
  • 2009 – 488 (not including June)
  • 2008 – 2,028
  • 2007 – 6,747 (U.S. military), 4,544 (Iraqi Defence Ministry)
  • 2006 – 3,902
  • 2005 – 3,247 (U.S. military), 1,734 (Iraqi Defence Ministry)
  • 2004 – 6,801
  • 2003 – 603

In addition as of August 22, 2009, approximately 1,719 suicide-bombers had also been reported killed.

Grand total — 21,221–26,405 insurgents dead

On September 28, 2006, an Al Qaeda leader claimed that 4,000 foreign insurgents had been killed in the war.[139]

On June 6, 2008, an Iraqi Army official revealed that about 6,000 Al Qaeda fighters were among the insurgents killed since the start of the war up until April 2008.[140]

Insurgent deaths are hard to estimate.[141][142]

Contractor casualtiesEdit

By July 2007, the Department of Labor recorded 933 deaths of contractors in Iraq.[143] By April 2007, the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction stated that the number of civilian contractor deaths on US-funded projects in Iraq was 916.[60] In January 2007, the Houston Chronicle reported that the Pentagon did not track contractor deaths in Iraq.[144] In January 2017, an estimated 7,761 contractors had been injured in Iraq, but their nationality was not known.[144] By the end 2006, civilian contractors suffered "3,367 injuries serious enough to require four or more days off the job."[145] The Labor Department had these numbers because it tracked workers' compensation claims by injured workers or families of slain contractors under the federal Defense Base Act.[144]

Health outcomesEdit

By November 2006, there were reports of a significant deterioration of the Iraq health care system as a result of the war.[146][34]

In 2007, a Iraqi Society of Psychiatrists and WHO study found that 70% of 10,000 primary school students in the Sha'ab section of north Baghdad are suffering from trauma-related symptoms.[147]

Total Iraqi casualtiesEdit

Estimates of the total number of Iraqi war-related deaths are highly disputed.

Various estimatesEdit

In December 2005 President Bush said there were 30,000 Iraqi dead. White House spokesman Scott McClellan later said it was "not an official government estimate", and was based on media reports.[148][149]

The United Nations reported that 34,452 violent civilian deaths occurred in 2006, based on data from morgues, hospitals, and municipal authorities across Iraq.[30]

For 2006, a January 2, 2007, Associated Press article reports: "The tabulation by the Iraqi ministries of Health, Defence and Interior, showed that 14,298 civilians, 1,348 police and 627 soldiers had been killed in the violence that raged across the country last year. The Associated Press figure, gleaned from daily news reports from Baghdad, arrived at a total of 13,738 deaths."[150] The Australian reports in a January 2, 2007, article: "A figure of 3700 civilian deaths in October '[2006]', the latest tally given by the UN based on data from the Health Ministry and the Baghdad morgue, was branded exaggerated by the Iraqi Government."[151] Iraqi government estimates include "people killed in bombings and shootings but not deaths classed as 'criminal'." Also, they "include no deaths among the many civilians wounded in attacks who may die later from wounds. Nor do they include many people kidnapped whose fate remains unknown."[151]

A June 25, 2006, Los Angeles Times article, "War's Iraqi Death Toll Tops 50,000",[152] reported that their estimate of violent deaths consisted "mostly of civilians" but probably also included security forces and insurgents. It added that, "Many more Iraqis are believed to have been killed but not counted because of serious lapses in recording deaths in the chaotic first year after the invasion, when there was no functioning Iraqi government, and continued spotty reporting nationwide since." Here is how the Times got its number: "The Baghdad morgue received 30,204 bodies from 2003 through mid-2006, while the Health Ministry said it had documented 18,933 deaths from 'military clashes' and 'terrorist attacks' from April 5, 2004, to June 1, 2006. Together, the toll reaches 49,137. However, samples obtained from local health departments in other provinces show an undercount that brings the total well beyond 50,000. The figure also does not include deaths outside Baghdad in the first year of the invasion."

Iraq Body CountEdit

The Iraq Body Count (IBC) project has recorded the numbers of civilians killed in violence since the 2003 invasion of Iraq based on a "comprehensive survey of commercial media and NGO-based reports, along with official records that have been released into the public sphere. Reports range from specific, incident based accounts to figures from hospitals, morgues, and other documentary data-gathering agencies." Current IBC figures, to December 2010, place the number of civilians killed at 99,151–108,234. The IBC was also given access to the WikiLeaks disclosures of the Iraq War Logs and has estimated that these documents show the total number of Iraqi deaths since the 2003 invasion to be over 150,000, with about 80% being civilian.[118][153]

The Iraq Body count has been criticized by a number of scholars and studies for underestimating the death toll.[154][155][156] According to a 2013 Lancet article, the Iraq Body Count is "a non-peer-reviewed but innovative online and media-centred approach that passively counted non-combatant civilian deaths as they were recorded in the media and available morgue reports. In passive surveillance no special effort is made to find those deaths that go unreported. The volunteer staff collecting data for the IBC have risked criticism that their data are inherently biased because of scarcity or absence of independent verification, variation in original sources of information, and underestimation of mortality from violence... In research circles, random cross-sectional cluster sampling survey methods are deemed to be a more rigorous epidemiological method in conflict settings."[157]

Iraq Living Conditions SurveyEdit

A study commissioned by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), called the Iraq Living Conditions Survey (ILCS), sampled almost 22,000 households across all Iraqi provinces. It estimated 24,000 war-related violent deaths by May 2004 (with a 95 percent confidence interval from 18,000 to 29,000). This study did not attempt to measure what portion of its estimate was made up of civilians or combatants. It would include Iraqi military killed during the invasion, as well as "insurgents" or other fighters thereafter.[158] This study has been criticized for various reasons. For more info see the section in Lancet surveys of Iraq War casualties that compares the Lancet and UNDP ILCS studies.

Iraqiyun estimateEdit

The Iraqi non-governmental organisation, Iraqiyun, estimated 128,000 deaths from the invasion until July, 2005.[31] A July 2005 United Press International (UPI) article said the number came from the chairman of the Iraqiyun humanitarian organization in Baghdad, Dr. Hatim al-'Alwani. He said 55 percent of those killed were women, and children aged 12 and under. The UPI article reported: "Iraqiyun obtained data from relatives and families of the deceased, as well as from Iraqi hospitals in all the country's provinces. The 128,000 figure only includes those whose relatives have been informed of their deaths and does not include those were abducted, assassinated or simply disappeared."[159] A 2010 book by Nicolas Davies reported the Iraqiyun estimate, and that Iraqiyun was affiliated with the political party of Interim President Ghazi Al-Yawer. Davies wrote: "The report specified that it included only confirmed deaths reported to relatives, omitting significant numbers of people who had simply disappeared without trace amid the violence and chaos."[160][161]

The Associated Press and Health MinistryEdit

In April 2009, the Associated Press reported that Iraq Health Ministry had recorded (via death certificates issued by hospitals and morgues) a total of 87,215 violent deaths of Iraqi citizens between January 1, 2005, and February 28, 2009. The number excludes thousands of missing persons and civilians whose deaths were unrecorded; the government official who provided the data told the AP that if included, the number of dead for that period would be 10 to 20 percent higher.[16]

The Associated Press used the Health Ministry tally and other data (including counts of casualties for 2003–2004, and after March 1, 2009, from hospital sources and media reports, in major part the Iraq Body Count) to estimate that more than 110,600 Iraqis were killed from the start of the war to April 2009. Experts interviewed by the AP found this estimate to be credible and an "important baseline" although necessarily an estimate because of unrecorded deaths, especially in inaccessible areas. While mass graves discovered over time shed more light on deaths in the Iraq War, the AP noted that "how many remain will never be known."[16]

Iraq Family Health SurveyEdit

The Iraq Family Health Survey published in the New England Journal of Medicine surveyed 9,345 households across Iraq and was carried out in 2006 and 2007. It estimated 151,000 deaths due to violence (95% uncertainty range, 104,000 to 223,000) from March 2003 through June 2006.

The study was done by the "Iraq Family Health Survey Study Group", a collaborative effort of six organizations: the Federal Ministry of Health, Baghdad; Kurdistan Ministry of Planning, Erbil; Kurdistan Ministry of Health, Erbil; Central Organization for Statistics and Information Technology, Baghdad; World Health Organization Iraq office, Amman, Jordan; World Health Organization, Geneva.

2007 Opinion Research Business surveyEdit

A September 14, 2007, estimate by Opinion Research Business (ORB), an independent British polling agency, suggests that the total Iraqi violent death toll due to the Iraq War since the U.S.-led invasion is in excess of 1.2 million (1,220,580). Although higher than the 2006 Lancet estimate through June 2006, these results, which were based on a survey of 1,499 adults in Iraq from August 12–19, 2007, are more or less consistent with the figures that were published in the Lancet study.[26][27][28][29]

On January 28, 2008, ORB published an update based on additional work carried out in rural areas of Iraq. Some 600 additional interviews were undertaken and as a result of this the death estimate was revised to 1,033,000 with a given range of 946,000 to 1,120,000.[25][162]

Participants of the ORB survey were asked the following question:

How many members of your household, if any, have died as a result of the conflict in Iraq since 2003 (ie as a result of violence rather than a natural death such as old age)? Please note that I mean those who were actually living under your roof.

The revised results[162] were

Number of deaths

in household

Percent

of responders

None 72%
One 14%
Two 3%
Three 1%
Four or more "more than zero but less than 0.5%"
Don't know 2%
No answer 8%

This ORB estimate has been strongly criticised as exaggerated and ill-founded in peer reviewed literature.[163][164]

D3 Systems poll in early 2007Edit

From February 25 to March 5, 2007, D3 Systems [18] conducted a poll for the BBC, ABC News, ARD and USA Today.[165][166][167][168][169][170]

ABC News reported: "One in six says someone in their own household has been harmed. ... 53 percent of Iraqis say a close friend or immediate family member has been hurt in the current violence. That ranges from three in 10 in the Kurdish provinces to, in Baghdad, nearly eight in 10."[166]

The methodology was described thus: "This poll for ABC News, USA Today, the BBC and ARD was conducted February 25 – March 5, 2007, through in-person interviews with a random national sample of 2,212 Iraqi adults, including oversamples in Anbar province, Basra city, Kirkuk and the Sadr City section of Baghdad. The results have a 2.5-point error margin. Field work by D3 Systems of Vienna, Virginia, and KA Research Ltd. of Istanbul."[166][168][171]

There was a field staff of 150 Iraqis in all. That included 103 interviewers, interviewing selected respondents at 458 locales across the country.[168] "This poll asked about nine kinds of violence (car bombs, snipers or crossfire, kidnappings, fighting among opposing groups or abuse of civilians by various armed forces)."[168]

Question 35 asked:

Have you or an immediate family member – by which I mean someone living in this household – been physically harmed by the violence that is occurring in the country at this time?

Here are the results[168] in percentages:

Groups Yes No No opinion
All 17 83 0
Sunni 21 79 0
Shiite 17 83 0
Kurdish 7 93 0

17% of respondents reported that at least one member of the household had been "physically harmed by the violence that is occurring in the country at this time." The survey did not ask whether multiple household members had been harmed.

Iraq Health Minister estimate in 2006Edit

In early November 2006 Iraq's Health Minister Ali al-Shemari said that he estimated between 100,000 and 150,000 people had been killed since the March 2003 U.S.-led invasion.[34][35][172][173] The Taipei Times reported on his methodology: "Al-Shemari said on Thursday [, November 9, 2006,] that he based his figure on an estimate of 100 bodies per day brought to morgues and hospitals – though such a calculation would come out closer to 130,000 in total."[35] The Washington Post reported: "As al-Shemari issued the startling new estimate, the head of the Baghdad central morgue said Thursday he was receiving as many as 60 violent death victims each day at his facility alone. Dr. Abdul-Razzaq al-Obaidi said those deaths did not include victims of violence whose bodies were taken to the city's many hospital morgues or those who were removed from attack scenes by relatives and quickly buried according to Muslim custom."[173]

From a November 9, 2006, International Herald Tribune article:[34]

"Each day we lost 100 persons, that means per month 3,000, per year it's 36,000, plus or minus 10 percent", al-Shemari said. "So by three years, 120,000, half year 20,000, that means 140,000, plus or minus 10 percent", he said, explaining how he came to the figures. "This includes all Iraqis killed — police, ordinary people, children", he said, adding that people who were kidnapped and later found dead were also included in his estimate. He said the figures were compiled by counting bodies brought to "forensic institutes" or hospitals.

From a November 11, 2006, Taipei Times article:[35]

An official with the ministry also confirmed the figure yesterday [November 10, 2006], but later said that the estimated deaths ranged between 100,000 and 150,000. "The minister was misquoted. He said between 100,000–150,000 people were killed in three-and-a-half years", the official said.

PLOS Medicine 2013 studyEdit

A 2013 study by Hagopian et al. in PLOS Medicine estimated that 461,000 Iraqis died as a result of the Iraq War.[2] The study used a similar methodology as the 2006 Lancet study and had the lead author of the 2006 study as a co-author.[174] According to the lead author, half of the casualties were due to inadequate treatment of cardiovascular disease.[175] Upon the study's publication, Michael Spagat, a critic of the 2006 Lancet study, said that the 2013 study seemed "to fix most of the methodological flaws of the 2006 paper".[174] Spagat however noted that he found the large confidence interval of the 2013 study disconcerting.[174] Other critics of the 2006 Lancet study mirrored Spagat's views, noting that the 2013 study was an improvement but that the large confidence interval was concerning.[175]

A 2017 study by Spagat and Van Weezel replicated the 2013 study by Hagopian et al. and found that the 500,000 casualty estimate by Hagopian et al. was not supported by data.[176] Spagat and Van Weezel said that Hagopian et al. made many methodological errors.[176] Hagopian et al. defended their original study, arguing that Van Weezel and Spagat misunderstood their method.[177] Van Weezel and Spagat answered, saying that the response by Hagopian et al. "avoids the central points, addresses only secondary issues and makes ad hominem attacks."[178]

2006 excess mortality study in the LancetEdit

The October 2006 Lancet study by Gilbert Burnham (of Johns Hopkins University) and co-authors[31][32] estimated total excess deaths (civilian and non-civilian) related to the war of 654,965 excess deaths up to July 2006. The 2006 study was based on surveys conducted between May 20 and July 10, 2006. More households were surveyed than during the 2004 study, allowing for a 95% confidence interval of 392,979 to 942,636 excess Iraqi deaths.

The Burnham et al. study has been described as the most controversial study in survey research on armed conflict,[179] and its findings have been widely disputed in the academic literature.[180][181][182] Shortly after publication, the study's estimate and methodology came under criticism from a number of sources, including the United States government, academics, and the Iraq Body Count.[183] At the time, other experts, praised the methodology of the study.[184][185][186] John Tirman, who commissioned and directed the funding for the study defended the study.[187][188][189][190][191]

A number of peer-reviewed studies criticized the Lancet study on the basis of its methodology and exaggerated casualty numbers.[192][193][194][195][196][197][198][199][200][182][164] The authors of the Lancet study were also accused of ethical breaches in terms of how the survey was conducted and in how the authors responded to requests for data and information.[198][199][180][164] In 2009, the lead author of the Lancet study was censured by American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) for refusing to provide "several basic facts about" the study.[201] AAPOR had over a 12-year period only formally censured two other individuals.[164][180] In 2012, Michael Spagat noted that six peer-reviewed studies had identified shortcomings in the Lancet study, and that the Lancet authors had yet to make a substantive response to the critiques.[164] According to Spagat, there is "ample reason" to discard Lancet study estimate.[164] Columbia University statistician Andrew Gelman said in 2014 that "serious flaws have been demonstrated" in the Lancet study,[202] and in 2015 that his impression was that the Lancet study "had pretty much been discredited".[203] According to University of Delaware sociologist Joel Best in his book Stat-Spotting: A Field Guide to Identifying Dubious Data, "it seems likely that [the Lancet estimate] was too large".[204]

A 2008 study in the Journal of Peace Research found that the 2006 Lancet study may have considerably overestimated Iraq War casualties, that the study made "unusual" methodological choices, and called on the 2006 Lancet study authors to make all of their data available.[192] The 2008 study was awarded "Article of the Year - 2008" by the Journal of Peace Research, with the jury of Lars-Erik Cederman (ETH Zürich), Jon Hovi (University of Oslo) and Sara McLaughlin Mitchell (University of Iowa) writing that the "authors show convincingly that previous studies which are based on a cross-street cluster-sampling algorithm (CSSA) have significantly overestimated the number of casualties in Iraq."[193]

Michael Spagat criticized the 2006 Lancet study in a 2010 article for the journal Defence and Peace Economics. Spagat wrote that he found "some evidence relating to data fabrication and falsification" and "this evidence suggests that this survey cannot be considered a reliable or valid contribution towards knowledge about the extent of mortality in Iraq since 2003".[198] Spagat also chided the Lancet study for "ethical violations to the survey’s respondents including endangerment, privacy breaches and violations in obtaining informed consent".[198] In a letter to the journal Science, Spagat said that the Lancet study had failed replication in a study by the WHO (the Iraq Family Health Survey).[199] Spagat noted that the lead author of the 2006 study had been censured by the American Association for Public Opinion Research for "repeatedly refusing to disclose the corresponding information for his survey".[199]

The Iraq Family Health Survey published by WHO researchers in the New England Journal of Medicine found that the 2006 Lancet study results "considerably overestimated the number of violent deaths" and that the results are highly improbable.[200] In comparing the two studies, peace researcher Kristine Eck of Uppsala University notes that the IFHS study which covered the same period as the Lancet survey "was based on a much larger sample (9,345 households compared to Burnham et al’s 1,849) in far more clusters (1,086 clusters compared to Burnham et al’s 47)."[179]

2004 Excess Mortality Study in the LancetEdit

The October 2004 Lancet study[205] done by public health experts from Johns Hopkins University and published on October 29, 2004, in The Lancet medical journal, estimated that 100,000 "excess" Iraqi deaths from all causes had occurred since the U.S. invasion began. The study did not attempt to measure how many of these were civilian, but the study's authors have said they believe that the "vast majority" were non-combatants, based on 7% of the casualties being women and 46% being children under the age of 15 (including Falluja data). To arrive at these excess death figures, a survey was taken from 988 Iraqi households in 33 clusters throughout Iraq, in which the residents were asked how many people lived there and how many births and deaths there had been since the war began. They then compared the death rate with the average from the 15 months before the war. Iraqis were found to be 1.5 times more likely to die from all causes after the invasion (rising from 0.5% to 0.79% per year) than in the 15 months preceding the war, producing an estimate of 98,000 excess deaths. This figure excluded data from one cluster in Falluja, which was deemed too much of an outlier for inclusion in the national estimate. If it included data from Falluja, which showed a higher rate of violent deaths than the other 32 clusters combined, the increased death rate would be raised from 1.5 to 2.5 fold, violent deaths would be 58 times more likely with most of them due to air-strikes by coalition forces, and an additional 200,000 fatalities would be estimated.[206]

UndercountingEdit

Some studies estimating the casualties due to the war in Iraq say there are various reasons why the estimates and counts may be low.

Morgue workers have alleged that official numbers underestimate the death toll.[207] The bodies of some casualties do not end up in morgue and thus may go unrecorded.[208] In 2006, The Washington Post reported: "Police and hospitals often give widely conflicting figures of those killed in major bombings. In addition, death figures are reported through multiple channels by government agencies that function with varying efficiency."[173]

A January 31, 2008 Perspective in the New England Journal of Medicine contains the following discussion of undercounting Iraqi civilian casualties in household surveys:

... sometimes it was problematic or too dangerous to enter a cluster of households, which might well result in an

undercount; data from the Iraq Body Count on the distribution of deaths among provinces were used to calculate estimates in these instances. If the clustering of violent deaths wasn’t accurately captured, that could also increase uncertainty.

The sampling frame was based on a 2004 count, but the population has been changing rapidly and dramatically because of sectarian violence, the flight of refugees, and overall population migration. Another source of bias in household surveys is underreporting due to the dissolution of some households after a death, so that no one remains to tell the former inhabitants’ story. [209]

Washington Post noted in 2008 that

research has shown that household surveys typically miss 30 to 50 percent of deaths. One reason is that some families that have suffered violent deaths leave the survey area. ... Some people are kidnapped and disappear, and others turn up months or years later in mass graves. Some are buried or otherwise disposed of without being recorded. In particularly violent areas, local governments have effectively ceased to function, and there are ineffective channels for collecting and passing information between hospitals, morgues and the central government.[24]

The October 2006 Lancet study[31][32] states:

Aside from Bosnia, we can find no conflict situation where passive surveillance [used by the IBC] recorded more than 20% of the deaths measured by population-based methods [used in the Lancet studies]. In several outbreaks, disease and death recorded by facility-based methods underestimated events by a factor of ten or more when compared with population-based estimates. Between 1960 and 1990, newspaper accounts of political deaths in Guatemala correctly reported over 50% of deaths in years of low violence but less than 5% in years of highest violence.[31]

The report describes no other specific examples except for this study of Guatemala.

Juan Cole wrote in October 2006 that even though heavy fighting could be observed, none of the Iraqi casualties in the skirmishes were reported on, which suggests undercounting.[210]

A July 28, 2004, opinion piece by Robert Fisk published by The Independent reports that "some families bury their dead without notifying the authorities."[211]

Stephen Soldz, who runs the website "Iraq Occupation and Resistance Report", wrote in a February 5, 2006, article:[212]

Of course, in conditions of active rebellion, the safer areas accessible to Western reporters are likely to be those under US/Coalition control, where deaths are, in turn, likely to be due to insurgent attacks. Areas of insurgent control, which are likely to be subject to US and Iraqi government attack, for example most of Anbar province, are simply off-limits to these reporters. Thus, the realities of reporting imply that reporters will be witness to a larger fraction of deaths due to insurgents and a lesser proportion of deaths due to US and Iraqi government forces.

An October 19, 2006, Washington Post article[183] reports:

The deaths reported by officials and published in the news media represent only a fraction of the thousands of mutilated bodies winding up in Baghdad's overcrowded morgue each month. ... Bodies are increasingly being dumped in and around Baghdad in fields staked out by individual Shiite militias and Sunni insurgent groups. Iraqi security forces often refuse to go to the dumping grounds, leaving the precise number of bodies in those sites unknown. Civilian deaths, unlike those of American troops, often go unrecorded.

The Australian reported in January 2007 that Iraqi government casualty estimates do not count deaths classed as 'criminal', deaths of civilians who get wounded and die later from the wounds, or kidnap victims who have not been found.[151]

The Iraq Body Count project (IBC) stated in November 2004 that "we have always been quite explicit that our own total is certain to be an underestimate of the true position, because of gaps in reporting or recording".[213]

Systematic underreporting by U.S.Edit

An April 2005 article by The Independent[214] reports:

A week before she was killed by a suicide bomber, humanitarian worker Marla Ruzicka forced military commanders to admit they did keep records of Iraqi civilians killed by US forces. ... in an essay Ms Ruzicka wrote a week before her death on Saturday and published yesterday, the 28-year-old revealed that a Brigadier General told her it was "standard operating procedure" for US troops to file a report when they shoot a non-combatant. She obtained figures for the number of civilians killed in Baghdad between February 28 and April 5 [2005], and discovered that 29 had been killed in firefights involving US forces and insurgents. This was four times the number of Iraqi police killed.

The December 2006 report of the Iraq Study Group (ISG) found that the United States has filtered out reports of violence in order to disguise its perceived policy failings in Iraq.[215] A December 7, 2006, McClatchy Newspapers article[215] reports that the ISG found that U.S. officials reported 93 attacks or significant acts of violence on one day in July 2006, yet "a careful review of the reports for that single day brought to light more than 1,100 acts of violence." The article further reports:

The finding confirmed a September 8 McClatchy Newspapers report that U.S. officials excluded scores of people killed in car bombings and mortar attacks from tabulations measuring the results of a drive to reduce violence in Baghdad. By excluding that data, U.S. officials were able to boast that deaths from sectarian violence in the Iraqi capital had declined by more than 52 percent between July and August, McClatchy newspapers reported.

From the ISG report itself:

A murder of an Iraqi is not necessarily counted as an attack. If we cannot determine the source of a sectarian attack, that assault does not make it into the database. A roadside bomb or a rocket or mortar attack that doesn't hurt U.S. personnel doesn't count.[215]

Casualties caused by criminal and political violenceEdit

 
U.S. Army medics lift a wounded Iraqi police officer into an ambulance (March 2007)

In May 2004, Associated Press completed a survey[208] of the morgues in Baghdad and surrounding provinces. The survey tallied violent deaths from May 1, 2003, when President Bush declared an end to major combat operations, through April 30, 2004.

From the AP article:

In Baghdad, a city of about 5.6 million, 4,279 people were recorded killed in the 12 months through April 30, [2004], according to figures provided by Kais Hassan, director of statistics at Baghdad's Medicolegal Institute, which administers the city's morgues. "Before the war, there was a strong government, strong security. There were a lot of police on the streets and there were no illegal weapons", he said during an AP reporter's visit to the morgue. "Now there are few controls. There is crime, revenge killings, so much violence." The figure does not include most people killed in big terrorist bombings, Hassan said. The cause of death in such cases is obvious so bodies are usually not taken to the morgue, but given directly to victims' families. Also, the bodies of killed fighters from groups like the al-Mahdi Army are rarely taken to morgues.

Accidental trauma deaths from car accidents, falls, etc. are not included in the numbers. The article reports that the numbers translate to 76 killings per 100,000 people in Baghdad, compared to 39 in Bogotá, Colombia, 7.5 in New York City, and 2.4 in neighboring Jordan. The article states that there were 3.0 killings per 100,000 people in Baghdad in 2002 (the year before the war). Morgues surveyed in other parts of Iraq also reported large increases in the number of homicides. Karbala, south of Baghdad, increased from an average of one homicide per month in 2002 to an average of 55 per month in the year following the invasion; in Tikrit, north of Baghdad, where there were no homicides in 2002, the rate had grown to an average of 17 per month; in the northern province of Kirkuk, the rate had increased from 3 per month in 2002 to 34 per month in the survey period.[208]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b See Tables section below
  2. ^ a b c Hagopian, Amy; Flaxman, Abraham D.; Takaro, Tim K.; Esa Al Shatari, Sahar A.; Rajaratnam, Julie; Becker, Stan; Levin-Rector, Alison; Galway, Lindsay; Hadi Al-Yasseri, Berq J.; Weiss, William M.; Murray, Christopher J.; Burnham, Gilbert; Mills, Edward J. (15 October 2013). "Mortality in Iraq Associated with the 2003–2011 War and Occupation: Findings from a National Cluster Sample Survey by the University Collaborative Iraq Mortality Study". PLoS Medicine. 10 (10): e1001533. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001533. PMC 3797136 . PMID 24143140. Retrieved 2013-10-23. 
  3. ^ a b c Staff writer (October 23, 2010). "Iraq War Logs: What the Numbers Reveal". Iraq Body Count. Retrieved November 20, 2010.
  4. ^ "Civilian deaths from violence in 2003–2011". Iraq Body Count. January 2, 2012. Retrieved 2012-10-10. 
  5. ^ "Civilian deaths from violence in 2012". Iraq Body Count. January 1, 2013. 
  6. ^ "The War in Iraq: 10 years and counting :: Iraq Body Count". iraqbodycount.org. Retrieved 2014-08-07. 
  7. ^ a b Rogers, Simon (October 23, 2010). "Wikileaks Iraq: Data Journalism Maps Every Death — Data Journalism Allows Us To Really Interrogate the Wikileaks Iraq War Logs Release. Here Is the Statistical Breakdown — and Data for You To Download". Data Blog – Facts Are Sacred (blog on The Guardian). Retrieved November 20, 2010.
  8. ^ a b "Iraq: The War Logs". The Guardian.
  9. ^ a b Carlstrom, Gregg (October 22, 2010; last modified October 24, 2010 (at November 21, 2010)). "WikiLeaks Releases Secret Iraq File — Al Jazeera Accesses 400,000 Secret US Military Documents, Which Reveal the Inside Story of the Iraq War". Al Jazeera. Retrieved November 21, 2010.
  10. ^ "The WikiLeaks Iraq War Logs: Greatest Data Leak in US Military History". Der Spiegel. October 22, 2010. Retrieved 2010-10-23. 
  11. ^ a b Leigh, David (October 22, 2010). "Iraq War Logs Reveal 15,000 Previously Unlisted Civilian Deaths — Leaked Pentagon Files Contain Records of More than 100,000 Fatalities Including 66,000 Civilians". The Guardian. Retrieved November 20, 2010.
  12. ^ a b Editors – Katz, Jeffrey; Doug Roberts, Doug; Sutherland, J.J. (undated). "The Toll of War — U.S. Troop Fatalities in Iraq since March 2003 — A Month-by-Month Count of U.S. Troops Killed in the Conflict" (bar chart of various death toll estimates). NPR. Retrieved November 21, 2010.
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  17. ^ a b c d "Iraq Body Count database". Iraqbodycount.org. July 24, 2012. Retrieved 2012-09-02. 
  18. ^ a b c Iraq Body Count project. Source of IBC quote on undercounting by media is here [1].
  19. ^ [dead link]"WHO Country Office in Iraq. Iraq Family Health Survey" Archived June 11, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.. World Health Organization (WHO).
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  21. ^ Alkhuzai AH, Ahmad IJ, Hweel MJ, Ismail TW, et al. (2008). "Violence-Related Mortality in Iraq from 2002 to 2006". The New England Journal of Medicine. 358 (2): 484–93. doi:10.1056/NEJMsa0707782. PMID 18184950. 
  22. ^ Staff writer (January 10, 2008). "New Study Says 151,000 Iraqi Dead – One of the Biggest Surveys So Far of Iraqis Who Have Died Violently Since the US-Led Invasion of 2003 Has Put the Figure at About 151,000". BBC News. Retrieved 2010-09-02. 
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External links and referencesEdit

(Additional links not found in the two reference sections higher up.)

U.S. military casualties only
Coalition (including U.S. and contractors) casualties only
Iraqi casualties only
Casualty photos
General and miscellaneous