This is probably the result of Website neglect, but still. The Defense Department’s official tally of U.S. military deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan (PDF) lists only 139 Iraq deaths from “combat operations.” The remaining 4,227 U.S. troop deaths are considered the wages of “Post-Combat Ops.” In other words, every soldier, Marine, airman, sailor and Coast Guardsman who died in Iraq after May 1, 2003, as well as the 13,499 who were too wounded to return to duty, are not considered to have taken part in combat operations. After all, President Bush declared the mission accomplished on May 1, 2003, so a nearly seven-year war clearly only existed for its first three months.
Here’s that chart:
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According to the Pentagon, Pfc. Adriana Alvarez, 20, of San Benito, Texas, died Feb. 10 in Baghdad. She is the most recent (announced) U.S. soldier to lose her life in Iraq. On the official release of her death, it says that she died of “injuries sustained while supporting combat operations.” Maybe it’s time to adjust that Website tally?