On to the monthly casualty report for October:
Avg. daily military fatality rate (nearly all of them Americans): 3.19. September was 1.73, August was 2.68. and October 2004 was 2.16. Overall average to date is 2.33, up 0.03. Total US dead as of today: 2,035.
Iraqi monthly military/police fatalities: 215. September was 233, August was 281, and no stats published for October 2004 (January 2005 is when the stats started: 109). Total dead: 3,509.
New monthly statistic: Iraqi monthly civilian fatalities: 465. September was 640, August was 1,524, stats begin in March 2005: 240. Note that the civilian numbers may be less accurate than others, but could still be useful in determining trends.
Comments: not much to add this month. My recollection is that daily casualties rose after the constitutional referendum, instead of falling as it has in the past after criticial events. And a side note: Juan Cole passes along a report that Shiite Ayatollah Sistani may call for a timetable for US withdrawal. I agree with Cole that if he does, the US will have to acquiesce. I expect that the Bush Administration would be glad to announce a timetable before our 2006 elections saying "we're not withdrawing out of weakness, but in acknowledgment of the growing strength of Iraqi democracy," or something equally transparent.
key: Iraq, monthly report