New Iraq Death Toll Study
A new cluster sample survey in Iraq suggests the post-war death toll from violence might have been around 250,000, to the nearest 200,000 or so. This kind of study has been misreported before and, in the case of the two Lancet studies, discredited.
The latest one will probably be reported as estimating a death toll of 405,000 between the invasion in 2003 and 2011. In fact, its authors say that “more than 60% of excess deaths were directly attributable to violence”. The rest were “excess deaths”, compared with pre-invasion death rates, from illness and accidents.
So the central estimate is 60% of 405,000, which is 243,000. Probability surveys of this kind produce a range of estimates. In this case, the authors say that the 95% confidence interval for excess deaths is 48,000–751,000 (it is 95% likely that the true number lies between these numbers). Which means the number of violent deaths is likely to be between 29,000 and 450,000 (assuming you can take 60% of the main estimates, which will be roughly right).
This is compatible, therefore, with the more reliable estimate from Iraq Body Count, supported by the Iraq Family Health Survey, of a death toll from violence 2003-2013 of about 170,000, of which about 50,000 were combatants.
This is, as I have said before, far too many, and the case against the invasion is strong enough not to require the wild exaggeration that is common in the murkier parts of the internet.iraq, iraq body count
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