Sunday, January 14, 2007

10,000 Dead? 100,000 Wounded?

From Capitol Hill Blue comes this story about a classified Pentagon memo which projects 10,000 casualties in Iraq by the end of 2008. Pentagon memo

Pentagon planners this week warned President George W. Bush that his "troop surge" plan could double U.S. casualties in Iraq in the coming year and result in 10,000 or more American deaths by the end of 2008.

In a classified assessment memo, military experts predicted violence against U.S. troops will increase "at a sustained pace" and concluded that increasing the use of soldiers for house to house searches in Baghdad will "dramatically alter" the "ratio of casualties to actions" in that civil-war torn city, says a military source familiar with the memo.

The Pentagon report admitted battle weary soldiers are more prone to mistakes that lead to casualties and noted that military personnel sent to Iraq for third and possibly fourth tours increase the odds that those soldiers will become casualties of war.

The memo concluded that American military deaths could top 6,000 by the end of 2007 and exceed 10,000 or more in 2008 with more than 100,000 wounded and/or maimed for life ...

The casualty assessment comes as the Pentagon abandons its limit on the time a citizen-soldier can be required to serve on active duty ... Until now, the Pentagon's policy on the Guard or Reserve was that members' cumulative time on active duty for the Iraq or Afghan wars could not exceed 24 months. That cumulative limit is now lifted; the remaining limit is on the length of any single mobilization, which may not exceed 24 consecutive months, Pace said.

In other words, a citizen-soldier could be mobilized for a 24-month stretch in Iraq or Afghanistan, then demobilized and allowed to return to civilian life, only to be mobilized a second time for as much as an additional 24 months ... by next January, the Pentagon "probably will be calling again" on National Guard combat brigades that previously served yearlong tours in Iraq.

Senator Webb has repeatedly asked what the endpoint is in this endless conflict. So let's ask the question: what strategic interest of the United States will be served by all these deaths and maimings? How will they make us safer?


Terry said...

WOW! Thanks for posting this. I'm up extremely early to finish an extremely long article I'm doing about this McCain doctrine/surge plan, and I'm definately linking you as an update.

As bad as this sounds though, the Iraqi death count has already well surpassed this numbers.

Catzmaw said...

Unfortunately, under the Bush view of things the Iraqi deaths don't even count. As I was reading this I was watching Stephanopolous's In Memoriam: 13 American dead this week and God knows how many Iraqis. When will it end?

Terry said...

"As I was reading this I was watching Stephanopolous's In Memoriam: 13 American dead this week and God knows how many Iraqis. When will it end? "

Yeah, it's pretty disgusting to think that the atrociously high number of Iraqi deaths the media has counted, that's only a bare MINIMUM, because most Iraqi citizen deaths go unreported.

Terry said...

"that the atrociously high number"

..that OF the atrociously high number, is what I meant to say...

April said...

Thank you for the post and for your site. One of the things that most scared me about the President's interview on 60 minutes last night was an off hand comment that he made about children born today and where they would be in 20 years. Was this a confession that he knows our children, (and other people's unborn children) will be sent over to die in this mess for decades to come?