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Group: 162,000 Civilian Deaths in Iraq Since 2003 Invasion


After the U.S. formally declared an end to the Iraq war in December, Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff who led the 1st Armored Division in 2003, said the U.S. needed to know the outcome was worth the cost. "We've paid a great price here, and it's a price worth paying," he said.

Iraq Body Count (IBC), however, shows that great price has been paid in Iraqi civilian deaths.

IBC's newest analysis covers deaths from violence 2003 - 2011.

From their findings:

  • The number of civilian deaths in Iraq in 2011 was almost at the same level as in 2010 – there has now been no noticeable downward trend since mid-2009. As observed in IBC’s previous annual report, recent trends indicate a persistent low-level conflict in Iraq that will continue to kill civilians at a similar rate for years to come. While these data indicate no improvement, time will tell whether the withdrawal of US forces will have an effect on casualty levels.
  • Total deaths with combatants, combining IBC and official records: Combining IBC civilian data with official Iraqi and US combatant death figures and data from the Iraq War Logs released by WikiLeaks, we estimate the documented death toll across all categories since March 2003 to be 162,000, of whom 79% were civilians.
  • From anti-government/occupation attacks: Civilian deaths attributable to anti-government/occupation attacks have noticeably increased in 2011: 1,172 in 2011, up from 888 in 2010.

A reminder of who bears the cost of war, IBC's analysis shows a staggering level of children as casualties: "Of the 4,040 civilian victims of US-led coalition forces for whom age data was available, 1,201 (29%) were children."

IBC's ful analysis can be found here:

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