Analytical Rebuttal Updated May 5, 2007
In fact I used the six time periods of the war as identified by http://www.icasualties.org/ in its Fatality Details database (sorted by country=US) not calendar years as the officer used. The last period, No. 6, began Feb. 1, 2007 identified as “The Surge or Troop Escalation Through May 4, 2007”.
This ratio of commissioned to non-commissioned officers reported as fatalities in Period 6 stands in stark contrast to any other period of the war and is consistent with a declining level of commissioned officer fatalities to the whole as the Iraq war has progressed. The average for the Iraq war has been 11:1 or 8.3% of total US fatalities.
Now let’s look at the calendar year 2007, which blurs phases of the war but was used by the officer in his analysis. The total US military fatalities are 361 of whom 3 are not yet identified, NOT 264 as the officer calculated. The number of commissioned officer fatalities was 28. Thus for 2007, 361-3=358 total of whom 28 were commissioned officers and 330 were otherwise. Thus commissioned officers were 7.8% of total fatalities in 2007 or 11.8:1 – pretty consistent with recent years because of significant helicopter fatalities in January, and then when Phase 6 begins in February the ratio plummets.
Now let’s compare this with Period 1 as defined by http://www.icasualties.com/ as March 20, 2003 through May 1, 2003 when the President declared the end of major hostilities. During this period there were 140 US military fatalities of which 22 were commissioned officers (2 1st Lt., 3 2nd Lt., 10 Captains, 1 Commander, 1 Lt. Commander and 4 Majors). Period 1 showed commissioned fatalities at 15.7% of the total and the ratio of commissioned to other was 5.36:1 (118:22).
One might also note that daily fatalities in Period 6 are now 3.12 compared to a war average of 2.41 and second only to the opening days of the war (4.02 per day).
Why are Phase 6 fatalities per day up generally -- exceeded only by the opening phase of the war -- while commissioned fatalities are down hard 15.2:1 relative to enlisted and especially compared to 5.36:1 in Period 1 or the war average 11:1 in general?
I would welcome fact based analysis.