Somewhere over there, beyond the horizon, beyond the four-buck-a-gallon gasoline and the foreclosure crisis and the campaign sniping over what it means to be rich and who owns how many houses, there’s a war on. To date this month:

18 U.S. troops killed in Iraq. Ten of those deaths are listed as “non-hostile.”

191 Iraqis killed, including 158 civilians.

18 U.S. and 24 other coalition troops killed in Afghanistan. Scores of civilians, too, judging from the latest reports.

Your War in Numbers

Seventy-six U.S. soldiers have died so far this month in Iraq, according to Iraq Coalition Casualties. That makes March the seventh consecutive month in which the toll of U.S. soldiers killed has reached 70 or above, the longest such period since President Bush launched the war in March 2003.

Five hundred ninety-nine U.S. soldiers have died since September 1, 2006; that’s the highest toll for any seven-month span in the entire war, exceeding the 584 U.S. lives lost from August 1, 2004, through February 28, 2005, a period that included both the costly offensive against Fallujah and an insurgent onslaught leading up to the Iraqi national elections on January 30, 2005.

Iraqi deaths in the same span: Conservatively, about 1,300 and counting for March. More than 13,000 since September 1.

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Today’s Good News from Iraq

By way of Iraq Coalition Casualties, I note this press release from the U.S. Central Command about an incident in Operation Fight ‘Em Over There:


The release describes an incident in which U.S. troops shot and killed two apparent intruders at a U.S. base in Iraq; a third person was wounded. Nothing unusual there — I hear there’s a war on. But the release goes on to say:

“The professionalism of the men and women, who quickly responded to this incident, prevented any harm to the more than 9,000 Air Force, Army and Coalition members on and around this installation,” said Col. Michael J. Nowak, 407th Air Expeditionary Group commander.

“Security forces personnel flawlessly executed their job in service to the nation and met the challenge of providing force protection of the installation’s perimeter,” he added.

It’s nice that, while war is still hell, the boss takes time out to give the troops a pat on the back for a job well done. I wonder if this is a first in glowing media alerts for well executed killings. I wonder if, in the same spirit of tellin’ the folks back home about the job we’re doin’, Central Command will tell us more about shootings like this one. And this one.