Thursday, September 30
A failed "transition": The mounting costs of the Iraq war
Foreign Policy in Focus, September, 2004

U.S. military casualties (wounded and killed):
- Monthly average since June 28, 2004: 747
- Monthly average before the "transition": 449

Number of U.S. troops wounded in combat since the war began: 7,413 (94% occurred after May 1, 2003)

Percentage of U.S. wounded unable to return to duty: 64%

Iraqi soldiers and insurgents killed since May 1, 2003: 24,000

Iraqi civilians killed since March 20, 2003: 12,800-14,843

Contractor death rate:
- Monthly average since June 28, 2004: 17.5
- Monthly average during the previous 14 months of occupation: 7.6

Number of civilian contractors killed: 154

Number of international journalists and media workers killed: 44

Number of insurgents in Iraq:
- November 2003: 5,000
- August 2004: 20,000

Percentage of the world's population represented by countries (including the U.S.)
- On original "Coalition of the Willing" list (March 2003): 19.1%
- With forces in Iraq as of September 2004: 13.6%

Percentage of Americans who believe that the Iraq War has worsened the U.S. image in the world: 69%


Kerry, Bush clash over Iraq war, October 1, 2004

Millions watched the two men joust for votes

US President George W Bush and his Democratic challenger John Kerry have clashed in a TV debate on how to handle the war in Iraq and homeland security.

Mr Kerry called the conflict a diversion in the broader struggle against terror.

Mr Bush said he was confident of poll victory because he had shown the American people he knew how to lead.

The two men were taking part in the first of three televised debates in the run-up to November's election.

At times, the president seemed uncomfortable at the criticism, but was soon in his stride, says the BBC's Rob Watson in Miami where the debate was held.

There were several sharp exchanges, Senator Kerry at one point saying the president's certainty about issues did not make him right, but neither man appeared to deliver a knock-out blow, our correspondent says. [... more]


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