Thursday, August 31, 2006

Elevated from the comments section

"Regarding the news that mortality among young black males in Philadelphia exceeds that of troops in Iraq, A reader comments:

Error on my part: the death rate of military personnel in Iraq is 2.5x the death rate of American males 18-39.

The statistic that really stands out is that the Iraq death rate is 18% of the Vietnam death rate. This makes me wonder whether the U.S. operation in Iraq is actually too cautious. Not that I want more dead, but are commanders being too risk-avoidant?
I have read elsewhere that U.S. troops in Iraq tend to use 100 bullets where one will do, to the point that a bullet shortage appeared and commanders had to tell troops to fire less often.
This is true of infantry combat since time immemorial. In combat, very few bullets actually strike human flesh. S.L.A. Marshall did a lot of writing to the effect that in a real infantry fight, only one or two men in ten are actually aiming their rifles."


Blogger B. Will Derd said...

Injury-related death rate of 20-35-year-old men in the states in 2002: .086%

Death rate of soldiers in Iraq between 2003 and 2006, including accident : .153%

So a young man is a little less than twice as likely to die if he is serving his nation in Iraq, than is a ciivlian here at home playing video games, and watching MTV between beer runs. And the stat about the death rate among young blacks in Philly being higher than the Iraq rate was not in error.

8:34 AM  

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