Estimates of Iraqi civilian deaths

I’m looking for estimates of Iraqi civilians reported killed by US military intervention in Iraq. I don’t want to count deaths of insurgents or Iraqi civilians killed by insurgents/sectarian violence. How many Iraqi’s died because we blew up the wrong building, etc…

I hope this doesn’t stray into GD territory, but do we keep track of how many “insurgents” we killed, and how many “non-insurgents” were caught up in the fight? Is there any oversight to that process? If a non-insurgent is killed during a firefight, is it up to the coroner’s report to determine who killed/who gets the statistic? How do we account for someone killed by falling/exploding debris during an attack? Lastly, who gets to decide who is an insurgent and who was in the wrong place?

All good questions. I have no idea. A rough ballpark estimate is all I’m looking for. Are we talking 20,000 or more like 200,000?

I think it is very hard to say, because you’re going to see a wide variation in definition from study to study. Some studies will focus on total deaths, and some will even try to compile numbers based on phone surveys asking people how many persons they know who have been killed (which to me seems a bad way to get figures like this.)

It is then important to notice that the Lancet study did not use phone surveys:

Speaking of ballparks, I base my estimate on the fact that some members of the administration openly mentioned that the framework for Iraq was El Salvador, so:

Back in 2004 the predicted numbers I came with looked like this (by using the population loss and displacement in El Salvador as a ratio):

"If approximately one-quarter of the population will be internally displaced or will leave the country in an “El Salvador Option” The number will be 5,500,000 For Iraq.

The population of Iraq is about 22 million, if we apply the El Salvador option we are looking at 330,000 people dead before we are finished with Iraq."

Right now I have seen that about 4 million people are currently displaced, the addition of death squads in Iraq and the Lancet study tells me that the 300,000 number is more than just a ballpark estimate.

Are you pointing this out as a criticism? Why would phone surveys in Iraq be a better methodology?


I basically agree with **Martin Hyde **: that phone surveys would be a bad way to get this information, it seems many on the right are assuming the Lancet used something like quick phone surveys and therefore the study can be dismissed. Well, they did not, and reading about how they did it, it is more likely that the Lancet study was correct.

Ah. I totally misread… never mind. Me too. Lancet good science as these things go.