More on the numbers

Sunday, March 19, 2006
From a comment in the Volokh thread Terrye mentioned below.
Total military casualties under Clinton's first term from Jan 1993 to Dec 1996 inclusive, vs. Bush's first term from Jan 2001 to Dec 2004 (which includes the Iraq war) is interesting. Those numbers are Clinton's 4302 dead during peacetime vs. Bushe's [sic] 5187 dead during war.

In fact more people died under Clinton due to accidents, 2241, than died under Bush due to hostile action, 1102, during those periods.

These are incredible numbers. If instead of going to war with Iraq in response to 9/11 we had merely doubled the size of our army and stayed home, then we would have suffered about twice the number of military deaths. Yes, the increased amount would have been double. Instead of going from around 4000 to 5000, the result would have been from around 4000 to 6000.

I've noted before that mortality rates seem quite low; here's the evidence.


terrye said...


I remember reading something powerline had up some time back about this. If I recall it correctly between 1983 and 1996 we lost about 16,000 people.

A lot of the casualties in Iraq are not combat related. In fact it is amazing how many die in vehicle accidents.

chuck said...

A lot of the casualties in Iraq are not combat related.

Umm, not really. If you go look at previous months you will see a few accidents but a large majority of the casualties were due to IEDs. If you look at the figures for March just two of the 16 casualties are due to accidents or non-combat related incidents. Of the remaining 14, eight are due to IEDs of VBIEDs. Some of the casualties are also due to injuries sustained as long ago as November. I'll be happy when all the casualties are non-combat related, but we aren't there yet.

Syl said...

Dems are using two words every time they speak. I find them to be deceitful and dishonest by pushing these words into the press and public:

Incompetent and disaster.

I call BS on all of them.

Okay, sorry, off topic for this post. But it's all the same bs.

Syl said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Knucklehead said...


Re: the incompetence and disaster meme...

I listened to those two words over the weekend and I've decided to start simply asking, "What are you comparing Iraq too to arrive at the charge that the effort in Iraq is either incompetent or a disaster?"

What I believe one will reliably discover when asking this question is that there is no legitimate comparison, especially in the minds of those using those two words. They are not working from any knowledge of military or any other history. They are simply splatting out two labels they hope will stick.

I suspect you'll typically get a response such as, "I compare it to Vietnam!"

"OK, how so? Tell me what about Iraq is similar to Vietnam?"

You'll have the label splatter hummanna-hummanning and hemming and hawing in a few short moments.

The fact of the matter is there are precious few conflicts with which to make any legitimate comparisons. It is very different than anything we've engaged in before. Casualty rates hardly make for the "incompetent" or "disaster" charges. Casualty rates are lower than anyone I am aware of predicted. They are, quite frankly, in the "cakewalk" range to this point.

Even the loons have backed off on the numbers of "innocent Iraqis slaughtered". Those rates are low in comparison to previous military engagements of any comparable size.

The numbers of Iraqi police and military forces dying are quite probably comparably low also (very hard to get at these numbers, especially comparatively, without serious research in a solid library) but even if they aren't they tend to put paid to the idea that Iraqis aren't fighting for their "freedom" and "democracy". They're dying in larger numbers than American or other coalition troops are.

The incompetence and disaster labels seem to be sticking to some degree but they are yanked out of thin air as far as I can tell.

dkgatlin said...

Why does this pdf show only one hostile action casualty for the entire Clinton Administration? I can think of 18 right off the top of my head (Somalia 1993). In addition to those, I would find it hard to believe that we didn't lose any soldiers in the other deployments during that time.