"The fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing."


Glenn Reynolds:

Barack Obama:
"Impossible to transcend."

Albert A. Gore, Jr.:
"An incontinent brute."

Rev. Jeremiah Wright:
"God damn the Gentleman Farmer."

Friends of GF's Sons:
"Is that really your dad?"

Kickball Girl:
"Keeping 'em alive until 7:45."

Hired Hand:
"I think . . . we forgot the pheasant."

I'm an
Alcoholic Yeti
in the
TTLB Ecosystem

Monday, August 28, 2006

Combat Deaths in North Philadelphia

On Saturday The Washington Post ran a column that performs a statistical analysis of combat deaths in Iraq. While any student of history knows that we've sustained astonishingly low casualties compared to prior wars, I've wondered how the death rate in Iraq compares to that of other places, such as the South Bronx, which are universally acknowledged to be calm, safe, civil communities firmly under the watchful eye of civilian authorities.

It turns out that you're safer in Iraq than in parts of Philadelphia:
Between March 21, 2003, when the first military death was recorded in Iraq, and March 31, 2006, there were 2,321 deaths among American troops in Iraq. Seventy-nine percent were a result of action by hostile forces. Troops spent a total of 592,002 "person-years" in Iraq during this period. The ratio of deaths to person-years, .00392, or 3.92 deaths per 1,000 person-years, is the death rate of military personnel in Iraq.

How does this rate compare with that in other groups? One meaningful comparison is to the civilian population of the United States. That rate was 8.42 per 1,000 in 2003, more than twice that for military personnel in Iraq.

The comparison is imperfect, of course, because a much higher fraction of the American population is elderly and subject to higher death rates from degenerative diseases. The death rate for U.S. men ages 18 to 39 in 2003 was 1.53 per 1,000 -- 39 percent of that of troops in Iraq. But one can also find something equivalent to combat conditions on home soil. The death rate for African American men ages 20 to 34 in Philadelphia was 4.37 per 1,000 in 2002, 11 percent higher than among troops in Iraq. Slightly more than half the Philadelphia deaths were homicides.
More HERE.

Comments on "Combat Deaths in North Philadelphia"


Blogger Almost Ignatius J. said ... (2:32 PM) : 

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Blogger Almost Ignatius J. said ... (2:32 PM) : 

your statement "It turns out that you're safer in Iraq than in parts of Philadelphia" is false.

what the op-ed said is that US troops are dying at a lesser rate than are males in Philadelphia between the ages of 20 and 34 and that the rate at which American soldiers die in Iraq is surprisingly comprable to places such as, to take your example, the south bronx.

but, this study is limited to American troops. i bet if you expanded it to ALL people dying in Iraq (you know, those 3000 civilians that die each month) the death rate would be way higher than it is in the south bronx.

not a sermon or a civil war, just a thought


Blogger Gentleman Farmer said ... (3:26 PM) : 

I think there's no doubt at all that you're exactly right. And those deaths are also oddly different from those in prior wars.

Those casualties result largely from deliberate enemy action, rather than as a collateral consequence of American military operations/occupation. It's as if, after the German Army surrendered, die-hard elements of the Nazi Party and the SS, supported by foreign true believers, had continued to mount guerilla operations, but against the German population, rather than the occupying powers.

If that had happenned, do you think that the German people would have put up with it for very long? Do you think that the American Government might have come to the conclusion that it was too tired, and the occupation too expensive, to continue, even if withdrawing troops might leave chaos in the middle of Europe?

I think part of the answer is that neither the British nor the Russians would have permitted such a course of action, since anarchy in Germany would be destabilizing in general. Perhaps it is more accurate to say that such a course of action was unthinkable because it would have resulted in all of Germany being dominated by the Soviet Union.


Blogger Faithful Sherpa said ... (12:05 PM) : 

Once upon a time, before I learned that colorblindness had robbed me of all military usefulness, I attempted to enlist. My mother was naturally concerned for my safety. She was willing to support my decision, however, because I was pursuing a great good.

Now you hit me with this news five days before I move to Philadelphia? Where the heck am I going to find a justification as noble as "defending the free world" in FIVE FREAKING DAYS?

Maybe they don't let the colorblind move to Philadelphia.


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