If this time last year someone had told you that we would have invaded Iraq, toppled then captured Saddam at a cost of 500 lives that would have sounded pretty optimistic wouldn’t it? War is hell and soldiers get killed, that’s how it’s always been and always will be. Iraq is a nation of some 25 million people casualty estimates in the 10,000+ range where being offered by military talking heads.
TIKRIT, Iraq (AP) – The number of American service members who have died in the Iraq conflict since war started last March reached 500 Saturday after a roadside bomb exploded near Baghdad, killing three U.S. soldiers and two Iraqi civil defense troopers.
Frankly, casualty number one was a high price to pay; I’m not trying to argue for or against the merits of the war here. I just noticed that, in terms of military casualties, a nation was conquered at an exceedingly low cost in American lives. Compare the casualty rate to other American land wars (with the exception of the Gulf War I turkey shoot) and you’d find a much better survivor rate for American GI’s.
One odd item that’s worth noting is that the casualty rate was not even above the likely deaths if you tracked the crowd at this year’s Rose Bowl for a year:
Death rates for 19 major causes of death in California in 1999 (per 100,000): 669.1.
Age adjusted death rates for 19 major causes of death in California in 1999 (per 100,000): 776.8
Overall cancer death rates (per 100,000) in 1986-88 were 163.2.