Business

US Troop Casualties In April Highest Since Sept. 2007

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From the AP:

The killings of three U.S. soldiers in separate attacks in Baghdad pushed the American death toll for April up to 47, making it the deadliest month since September.

One soldier died when his vehicle was struck by a roadside bomb. The other died of wounds sustained when he was attacked by small-arms fire, the military said Wednesday. Both incidents occurred Tuesday in northwestern Baghdad.

A third soldier died in a roadside bombing Tuesday night in the east of the capital, the military said.

For some additional perspective, here’s how the last year has broken down as far as troop deaths/wounded.

  • April – 102/776
  • May – 121/591
  • June – 98/669
  • July – 75/654
  • August – 77/658
  • September – 62/347
  • October – 37/376
  • November – 35/244
  • December – 23/193
  • January – 40/216
  • February – 29/216
  • March – 37/357
  • April – 47/?

And since the war began on 3/19/03…
Total dead: 4,059
Total wounded: 29,829

Also, 152,669 veterans have filed for disability after fighting in Iraq or Afghanistan…

Washington DC, October 10, 2006 – One in four veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars are filing disability claims, according to records released by the U.S. Department of Veterans’ Affairs (VA) under the Freedom of Information Act after nine months of denying their existence and posted today on the National Security Archive Web site.

The VA responded to the Archive’s original January 2006 FOIA request for documents about the number of disability benefits claims filed by veterans from the current war in Iraq by claiming that no documents existed, apparently because the reports concern the Global War on Terrorism (GWOT) rather than being limited to the Iraq War. Notably, one of the reports (PDF) indicates that GWOT is the “military name for the current wars in and around Afghanistan and Iraq.” A similar report was released in December 2005 detailing Gulf War veterans’ benefit activity. An updated copy (PDF) of this report was released in March 2006.

Only after the Archive administratively appealed the VA’s “no documents” claims and advised the VA that it was prepared to file a lawsuit did the agency manage to locate the records. One is a January 30, 2006, document: “Compensation and Pension Benefit Activity Among 464,144 Veterans Deployed to the Global War on Terror.” (PDF) It reports that more than 150,000 deployed Operation Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan) and Operation Iraqi Freedom (Iraq) veterans, out of more than 560,000 veterans of the Global War on Terrorism (GWOT), filed disability compensation and pension benefits claims with the Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA). The other is a July 20, 2006, document: “Compensation and Pension Benefit Activity Among Veterans of the Global War on Terrorism.” (PDF)

Do note this last information was from March 2006. No telling how many have filed for disability since then.