Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Getting The Body Count Right

The sacrifice: We count the dead. But not the injured
Soldiers in Afghanistan are six times more likely to be killed than those in Iraq, new research shows. But the true cost isn't counted in bodybags alone.

Says a report issued in the UK. They look at the body count of British, Canadian and American troops in Afghanistan compared to Iraq, and include the injured. The results are more injured troops in Afghanistan than in Iraq. And the body count is as high as the Soviet count when they fought the Mujahedin in the final days before they left Afghanistan. Can you say Khyber Pass?!

In recent months death rates are so high they even outstrip fatality rates during the initial occupation of Iraq, when fighting was most intense and UK forces were engaged with Saddam Hussein's army - twice as high, in fact.

"This way of looking at fatalities is important for politicians," she said. "The relative fatality rate is a measure of the true threat."

The latest casualty figures released by the MoD list only four soldiers wounded in action in August, although it is understood a further 10 were seriously injured in the last few days of the month - a period for which no official figures are available. According to the MoD's published statistics, the 5,000-strong British force has suffered 35 deaths since the start of this year, with 41 injured in action, a ratio of little more than one to one.

In contrast, the United States had a ratio of one to three, with 278 soldiers killed since the start of the war in 2001 and 956 listed as wounded in action, while Canada had a ratio of one to four, with 29 of its 2,500 soldiers killed since the start of the year and 128 listed as wounded in action.

Why British government conceals true casualty figures

The British "Daily Mail" reported on Sept. 22 that "the number of British soldiers being wounded in Afghanistan is far higher than the public at home realize... There is the lack of openness over casualty figures in both Iraq and Afghanistan... Though the British government publicizes some figures but they are incomplete, ignoring relatively minor battlefield wounds or injuries and that latest figures exclude the last seven weeks which have seen some of the fiercest battles to date in Afghanistan."

The charitable institutions that provide aid to these wounded soldiers disclose that the Ministry of Defense (MOD) covered up true casualty figures in excuse of maintaining secrecy, so that their aid activities have greatly been effected.

War news from the Illustrated London News
Afghan War - February 1, 1879 86K
Afghan War - February 8, 1879 441K
Afghan War - February 15, 1879 445K
Afghan War - October 11, 1879 524K


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