Eighteen Months In

I’ve updated my Iraq-Vietnam comparison graphs with the number of US dead for August. The number was up from the previous month, with 66 US fatalities.

Again, I’m getting these figures from the advanced search tool at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund site, and from Lunaville’s page on Iraq coalition casualties. The figures are for the number of US dead per month, without regard to whether the deaths were combat-related.

The first graph shows the first 18 months of each war. (Click on any image for a larger version.)

Next, the same chart, with the Vietnam numbers extended out to cover the first four years of the war:

Finally, the chart that gives the US death toll for the entire Vietnam war:

Disclaimer: I’m aware that we have more troops in-theater in Iraq than we had during the corresponding parts of the Vietnam War graph. Vietnam didn’t get numbers of US troops comparable to the number currently in Iraq until shortly after Johnson won the 1964 election, some three-and-a-half years after the starting point of the Vietnam graphs above.

These graphs are not intended to say anything about the relative lethality of the two conflicts. Nor am I trying to make a case that the Iraq war is somehow equivalent to, or worse than, the Vietnam war. I was just curious how the “death profile” of the two wars compared, and these graphs let me see that. You are free to draw your own conclusions.

My conclusion, 18 months in: Bush has no exit strategy. These deaths will continue in approximately their current numbers until the US electorate musters the political will to call for a change of course. I’m hoping that’s in 60 days, but we’ll see. In the meantime, when you listen to those chants of “four more years,” don’t kid yourself. You’re talking about four more years of this. These soldiers are not dying to keep America safe from terrorism. They’re dying so Bush doesn’t have to admit he made a mistake.

You can view more discussion of these charts on the following pages, if you’re interested. The graphs are all the same; I just update them in place when the new numbers become available.

4 Responses to “Eighteen Months In”

  1. lies.com » The Bush Legacy in Iraq Says:

    [...] ar Dead in Iraq for May US Iraq Deaths Down in June US Soldiers Continue to Die in Iraq Eighteen Months In Another Month’s Progress Posted by [...]

  2. Peter Says:

    as a European living in the US I understand your pre-occupation with American casualties. at the same time I’m shocked and disgusted by the total lack of information about innocent Iraqi deaths in the media here. according to Amnesty International that number now ranges from 5 to 10 thousand. in the 1st Gulf War they called it collateral damage, now there’s not even a name for it anymore.

  3. A B Sullivan Says:

    Is being a European supposed to impress? How about the hundrededs of thousands Saddam killed or the million or more which were killed in his war with Iran? Not to mention his invasion of Kuwait. Have you heard of terrorist and murdering Iraqi Secrect Police, Feydaeen and Republican Guard leftovers. Those are some fine upstanding Iraqi’s? You want to tell the Kurds about collateral damage? I’m sure they would agree with your pathetic whining!

  4. Peter Says:

    easy cowboy I’m not trying to impress anyone here. so the fact that Sadam killed thousands of his own people means that we shouldn’t care about another 10,000 innocent Iraqi civilians? All I’m saying is that they deserve some recognition as well.

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