April 24, 2006

Iraq officer fatality update

Can't let the month go by without saying at least one thing, so here's an update on American officer fatality rates in Iraq, commented on previously here and here.

US deaths in Iraq, combat and non-combat, since Sept 1/05: 507. Officer deaths in that number: 37, or 7.3%. This brings the percentage of U.S. officer deaths in the war even lower again than it was previously, down to 199 officers out of 2389 fatalities since the commencement of hostilities, or 8.3%. As previously mentioned, the comparable number in Vietnam was 11.3%.

The British comparator number I used in previous posts has had to be amended by 4 more officer deaths among their 11 most recent fatalities, meaning the British officer class has to date suffered an even 25% of all that nation's fatal casualties (26 of 104).

And it is with only regret that I report that, with the tragic death of Lt. William Turner in Afghanistan over the weekend, the Canadian officer fatality percentage in the 50 years of overseas operations since Suez stands at 17 out of 125 (13.6%).

Also, just as a reminder, here's the total Afghanistan + Iraq number of armed force fatalities for all the US-led coalition countries, in case anyone was curious who else is sharing this gruesome bill:

United States: 2,674
United Kingdom: 111
Italy: 30
Spain: 28
Germany, Ukraine: 18 each
Poland: 17
Canada: 15
Bulgaria: 13
Denmark: 6
France, Romania: 4 each
Australia, Slovakia: 3 each
El Salvador, Estonia, Netherlands, Sweden, Thailand: 2 each
Hungary, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Norway, Portugal: 1 each

Total armed forces fatalities, all nations, in Iraq and Afghanistan since 2001: 2,959.
Confirmed deaths, all Sept. 11 attacks, not counting the hijackers: 2,967

Addendum: cause of death of Canadian fatalities in Afghanistan since 2001:

Roadside bomb/IED: 6
Air-to-ground friendly fire: 4
Vehicle accident: 3
Suicide bomber: 1
Small arms, possible friendly fire: 1

The deaths of Lt. Turner and Bdr. Myles Mansell due to a roadside bomb this weekend were the first deaths of serving Canadian army reservists as part of the Afghanistan mission.

Addendum #2: For the record, I believe the last army reservist killed on active duty was Cpl. David Galvin of the Sherbrooke Hussars, who died 29 November 1993 in a vehicle accident in Bosnia (note: that's not counting ex-reservists who died after joining the regular force). The last Canadian officer killed was Capt. James deCoste, also in a Bosnian vehicle accident, on 18 September, 1993. I believe Lt. Turner may have been the first Canadian reservist officer killed on active duty since Korea.

Addendum #3: Because I'd never seen one before, I made up this graph of Canadian Forces fatalities on overseas operations over the last 50 years. As you can see, 2006 is not the worst year, yet, but it's already pushing up the average.

Cdn Forces fatalities 1956-2006

Posted by BruceR at 12:01 PM