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The Human Toll of Reconstruction During Operation Iraqi Freedom: Report Overview

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Journal Article

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Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction Alexandria United States

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The Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction SIGIR recently released a special report entitled The Human Toll of Reconstruction or Stabilization Operations during Operation Iraqi Freedom.1 Through this review, SIGIR sought to determine how many peopleU.S. Servicemembers and civilians, third-country nationals, and Iraqiswere killed while participating in activities related to the rebuilding of Iraqs infrastructure and institutions. Our report reviewed personnel deaths caused by hostile acts between May 1, 2003 the declared end of major combat operations in Iraq and August 31, 2010 the conclusion of Operation Iraqi Freedom. We found that during this period at least 719 people lost their lives while performing stabilization and reconstruction operations SRO missions, including 318 U.S. citizens, 111 third-country nationals, 271 Iraqis, and 19 others of unknown nationality. In addition, at least 786 people were injured there were also at least 198 reported kidnappings of Iraqis and third-country nationals who were performing reconstruction- or stabilization-related missions. For this study, SIGIR examined all available sources of information on casualties in Iraq, seeking to determine what losses occurred during SRO missions. We looked only at those personnel who died under hostile circumstances, excluding those killed by accident, suicide, homicide, or natural causes. The sources reviewed included classified and unclassified information from the Departments of Defense DOD, State, and Labor the individual military Services the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers USACE the U.S. Agency for International Development USAID contracting companies working on SRO tasks and open-source data. We found that no integrated database tracking such casualties existed and that the agencies used differing accounting methods to track losses, which made arriving at a reasonably precise number exceedingly difficult.

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  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

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