October 20, 2006

A noteworthy error in new Keegan piece

John Keegan:

By January 1968, total American casualties in Vietnam killed, wounded and missing had reached 80,000 and climbing. Eventually deaths in combat and from other causes would exceed 50,000, of which 36,000 were killed in action. Casualties in Iraq are nowhere near those figures. In a bad week in Vietnam, the US could suffer 2,000 casualties. Since 2003, American forces in Iraq have never suffered as many as 500 casualties a month.

This last sentence is incorrect. American casualties (killed plus injured), according to icasualties.org, are currently at 23,400, an average of 544 per month.

Yes, Vietnam was still bloodier than Iraq by a significant margin, but Keegan should still be more accurate with his numbers.

Posted by BruceR at 02:25 PM