By Michael Munk, posted at AfterDowningStreet.org, July 20, 2007
US military occupation forces in Iraq suffered at least 240 combat casulties between July 10 and 19, as total casualties reached at least 57,580.The total includes 29,891 killed or wounded by what the Pentagon classifies as "hostile" causes and 27,689 (as of June 30) more dead and injured from "non-hostile" causes such as accidents, suicides (116) 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 (3,628 as of July 19) and rarely mentioning the 26,806 wounded in combat. To further minimize public perception of the cost, they cover for the Pentagon by ignoring the 27,689 military victims who suffered "non-hostile" injuries and illness (through June 30), although the 3,628 reported deaths include 643 (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.
The LA Times recently estimated that the number of employes of the US military contractors (182,000--not including all mercenaries) exceeds the number of the US troops in Iraq (160,000). It broke down that number as 118,00 Iraqis and 64,000 foreigners, including 21,000 Americans. Reuters reports that these contractors had suffered 11,502 contractor casualties (933 dead as of June 30; 10,569 wounded as of March 31).About 200 of the dead were Americans.