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An argument for documenting casualties: violence against Iraqi civilians 2006

An argument for documenting casualties: violence against Iraqi civilians 2006

Hall, Katharine; Stahl, Dale

Protecting the civilian population is one of the central tenets of U.S. counterinsurgency doctrine. Until very recently, however, the U.S. military has not had a formal system for documenting the level of violence directed against Iraqi civilians. Therefore, other groups (such as nongovernmental organizations, the United Nations, and Iraqi ministries) have filled the vacuum in reporting, relying on media accounts, surveys, death certificates, and other open-source information to generate datasets of varying transparency and quality. The resulting statistics have generated widespread debate over sources, methods, and political biases. This study examines available open-source data on Iraqi civilian fatalities and assesses problems associated with previous collection and analysis efforts. The authors present a more robust RAND Corporation Iraqi civilian violence dataset from which they derive new observations about trends in targeting and weapons in 2006. RAND's dataset reveals that the majority of attacks in the year 2006 against civilians were directed against individuals without any identifiable affiliation, and that most attacks were carried out using firearms (rather than via improvised explosive devices or suicide attacks). These findings lead to a proposed framework for future civilian fatality data-collection efforts in Iraq and beyond

eBook, Electronic resource, Book. English. Electronic books. Statistics.
Published Santa Monica, Calif. : RAND 2008

This resource is available electronically from the following locations


Statement of responsibility: Katharine Hall, Dale Stahl
ISBN: 0833044613, 0833045326, 1282033131, 9780833044617, 9780833045324, 9781282033139
Note: Print version record.
Note: Includes bibliographical references (pages 49-51).
Physical Description: 1 online resource (xviii, 51 pages) : color maps, color charts
System: Master and use copy. Digital master created according to Benchmark for Faithful Digital Reproductions of Monographs and Serials, Version 1. Digital Library Federation, December 2002.
Subject: POLITICAL SCIENCE Security (National & International); Statistik.; Battle casualties.; Unruhen; Violent deaths.; Irak.; Iraq War (2003-2011); Toter.; Counterinsurgency.; HISTORY Military.; Statistik; Civilian war casualties Iraq Statistics.; Civilian war casualties.; Iraq.; Unruhen.; Toter; Violent deaths Iraq Statistics.; Iraq War, 2003-2011 Casualties.
Restrictions: Use copy Restrictions unspecified
Reproduction: Electronic reproduction. [S.l.]: HathiTrust Digital Library, 2010.
Local note: JSTOR Books at JSTOR Open Access


  1. Preface
  2. Figures
  3. Tables
  4. Summary
  5. Acknowledgments
  6. Abbreviations
  7. Introduction
  8. Counting Iraqi civilian deaths
  9. The Lancet studies
  10. United Nations reports
  11. Iraq body count
  12. Iraqi government statistics
  13. Conclusions
  14. Detailed analysis of RAND's civilian violence dataset
  15. The RAND dataset
  16. A closer look at 2006 : who is being attacked, where, and how
  17. Conclusions
  18. Recent developments : COIN and the U.S. military's data collection effort
  19. COIN and Iraq : doctrine versus reality
  20. The reduction of violence in 2007 : General Petraeus and the surge
  21. Conclusions
  22. Conclusions and recommendations : a better collection framework
  23. References.