By Michael Munk, posted on AfterDowningStreet.org, June 12, 2007
US military occupation forces in Iraq suffered at least 135 combat casulties in the week ending June 12, as total casualties reached at least 56,484.The total includes 28,835 killed or wounded by what the Pentagon classifies as "hostile" causes and 27,649 (as of May 15) more dead and injured from "non-hostile" causes such as accidents, suicides (111) and illness serious enough to require medical evacuation.
US media divert attention from the actual cost in American life and limb by routinely reporting only the total killed (3,512) as of June 12 and rarely mentioning the 25,950 wounded in combat. To further minimize public perception of the cost, they cover for the Pentagon by ignoring the 27,022 military victims who suffered "non-hostile" injuries and illness (through May 15), although the 3,497 reported deaths include 627 (no change from last week) who died from those same causes.
Although not defined as "casualties" since they have been discharged from active duty, as of the end of 2006 more than 180,000 U.S. military veterans of Iraq and Afganistan had filed disability claims.
Another group of unreported casualties are the more than 12,971 dead (971) and injured (12,000) "contractors" of American companies through March 31. Since 156 (as of April 3) of the dead are reported as Americans, we can assume the rest are foreign nationals--including everyone from food service workers to military mercenaries.