That Whole Rigamarole

Monday, February 14, 2005

Iraq Casualties Update

This is a chart I have been maintaining on Coalition hostile fire deaths since the beginning of Operation Iraqi Freedom. The counts are for successive seven-day periods, with the most recent one endind 2/10/05.

I apologize for the dodgy appearance of the chart within the blog. I am no kind of web guru. The chart shows that the Coalition is sustaining about 14 hostile fire deaths per week since the initial moves on Fallujah last April. The rate in the initial aftermath of major combat operations was about 4.8 hostile fire deaths per week. There was no statistically significant spike in such KIA during the week of the Iraqi election.

The data come from the database at The chart is a control chart or as I prefer a process behavior chart. Buy the book Understanding Variation at to learn more on this very useful analysis tool.


  • It is odd how it fluctuates so much in recent months. Sometimes more people are dying than ever and other times we have record low casualties.

    By Blogger c_neil, at 11:02 PM  

  • Fluctuations are normal behavior for almost any real-world process. My interpretation of the chart is that we have experience slow growth in the potency of the insurgency, punctuated by major engagements such as the battles in Fallujah and Najaf. I honestly think we are on the verge of a decrease in the casualty rate in the wake of the elections and as the Iraqi security organizations become more capable. My chart will require several weeks to signal such a change, but here's hoping.

    By Blogger Dave Himrich, at 11:26 PM  

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