4,000 U.S. Troops Dead in Iraq

March 23, 2008

U.S. Troops Suffer 4,000th Casualty of Iraq War on Easter Sunday

With a roadside bomb detonation at about 10:00 p.m. local time in Baghdad, the Easter holiday was marred as the U.S. troop death toll in the Iraq War officially rose to 4,000. The four as-yet-unnamed soldiers were killed in a patrol vehicle during the explosion, while a Multi-National Division soldier was wounded. Meanwhile, the Green Zone, traditionally considered a haven from the violence in Baghdad, was pounded with rockets and mortars, demonstrating the continued resistance and staying power of Shiite and Sunni extremists, despite proclaimed successes with the recent U.S. troop “surge.”

General David Petraeus Briefs Reporters at the Pentagon, April 2007

Last year was the deadliest year for U.S. troops, with 901 deaths. This was due in part to the “surge,” in which more than 30,000 additional troops have tried to regain control of the Baghdad area. While the majority of Americans want their troops out of Iraq, Iraqi security forces proceed slowly in their training; American commanders predict that their ability to operate unilaterally could be years down the road. General David H. Petraeus, the U.S. commander in Iraq, was quoted as saying: “We are always quick to note that the progress is tenuous and that it is reversible, and that there are innumerable challenges out there.“ Doublespeak, anyone?

The troop surge is sometimes known as the “Petraus Doctrine.” Gen. Petraeus is scheduled to make another assessment of the situation, along with new recommendations, next month. Meanwhile, reports have surfaced that the cost of the Iraq War, now America’s longest war, will easily surpass $1 trillion dollars, with final costs perhaps totalling $3 trillion.

Listen to Edwin Starr’s class War (What is It Good For?) song, updated with images from Iraq, or view Faces of the Fallen a poignant Washington Post project which has chronicled the deaths of each of the troops who’ve perished in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom.

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