US troops killed in Iraq top 9-11 toll

A little more than a year ago, when the media noted a lesser milestone—2,000 US troops killed in Iraq—we pointed out that the media’s habit of only counting the deaths of US troops as opposed to all US-led forces actually paints far too rosy a scenario. This September, when the media noted that combined US troop deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan had exceeded the 9-11 toll, we pointed out that Afghans killed in the US bombing campaign—overhwlemingly civilians—had surpassed the 9-11 vicitms in December 2001. Also note that a year ago, Congressional liberals were talking about reducing the US troop presence in Iraq to a still-hefty 100,000 by year’s end. Today there are 130,000, with more apparently on the way. From AP, Dec. 26:

In a span of a few hours, 2,973 people were killed in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. In a span of 45 months, the number of American troops killed in Iraq has exceeded that grim toll.

The milestone in Iraq came on Christmas, nearly four years after the war began, according to a count by The Associated Press.

With new casualties announced by the U.S. military on Tuesday, the death toll of American soldiers since the March 2003 beginning of the Iraq war was at least 2,978 — five more than the number killed in the Sept. 11 attacks in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania.

The AP count is 17 higher than the Defense Department’s tally, which was last updated Tuesday.

See our last posts on Iraq and the politics of the GWOT.