American War Casualties: Lists and Statistics

Comprehensive data on U.S. military deaths from the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812 through Operation Iraqi Freedom were presented in a recently updated report (pdf) from the Congressional Research Service.

“This report is written in response to numerous requests for war casualty statistics and lists of war dead. It provides tables, compiled by sources at the Department of Defense (DOD), indicating the number of casualties among American military personnel serving in principal wars and combat actions.”

For the more recent military actions beginning with the Korean War, information on specific cause of death and demographic data are provided.

The Congressional Research Service does not make its publications directly available to the public. A copy of the report was obtained by Secrecy News.

See “American War and Military Operations Casualties: Lists and Statistics,” updated June 29, 2007.

No Responses to “American War Casualties: Lists and Statistics”

  1. Bedrose P. Lipschitz February 25, 2008 at 4:55 PM #

    I have several questions regarding this report, as NeoCon groups are now trotting this out as proof that the Bush presidency has less blood on its hands [due to the lower casualty count in recent conflicts] than the Clinton presidency. Who knows, maybe the numbers are as accurate as can be, but something smells.

    How were the statistics gathered? Are the same types of casualties [friendly fire, etc.] counted as ‘casualties’ in all conflicts? What is the statistical significance of the numbers [confidence level, error, standard deviation, etc.]?

    Does the FAS do any analysis of these documents, or do they just provide a source for them?

  2. Steven Aftergood February 25, 2008 at 5:15 PM #

    You know what they say about lies, damned lies and statistics. But this report strikes me as quite non-controversial– unless you include deaths due to illness and accident in the casualty count, while ignoring changes in the overall size of the military population. If you treat all deaths from all causes as “casualties,” then you get some counterintuitive results. But if you look strictly at “casualties” due to “hostile action,” there is nothing surprising about the figures.

  3. Bedrose P. Lipschitz February 25, 2008 at 5:29 PM #

    I’m trying to find the source, but I recall a report that indicated that out-of-theater deaths [e.g., a soldier injured in combat in Iraq dies in a military hospital in Ramstein, Germany], while being counted in the past as casualties, were no longer being counted. If I find the report, I’ll cite. it.

  4. Bedrose P. Lipschitz February 25, 2008 at 5:51 PM #

    As it turns out, iCasualties thinks that the Dod is doing a pretty decent job of reporting out-of-theater casualties.