Backstory: 1,000 days in Iraq

Tuesday marks the 1,000th day of the war in Iraq. Apart from the debate over its purpose and progress, here are some basic facts about the conflict.


• 2,149 US forces have been killed, including 44 women.

• 15,880 US soldiers have been wounded.

• On average, 37 US soldiers a month are shipped home because of '"psychiatric" problems.

• 201 non-US Coalition forces have been killed in Iraq, including 98 from Britain, 27 from Italy, 18 from Ukraine, 17 from Poland, 13 from Bulgaria, and 11 from Spain.

• 25,000 to 30,000 is a rough estimate of the number of Iraqi civilians who lost their lives for war-related reasons since May 2003.

• An estimated 3,700 Iraqi police and military have died since June 2003.

Sources: The Brookings Institution,, The Wall Street Journal, Iraq Minister of Interior

Causes of death

• Of the 2,149 US troop casualties, the largest number resulted from hostile fire (some 693). Other major contributors: Improvised Explosive Devices (636); accidents, friendly fire, and other 'nonhostile causes' (393); helicopter losses (126); car bombs (111).

Source: The Brookings Institution

Insurgent strength

• 3,500 is the lowest estimate of full-time insurgents. US military estimates put the range between 8,000 and 18,000 "core" insurgents. Iraqi intelligence officials believe the number of insurgent sympathizers could be as high as 200,000.

Source: "Iraqi Force Development" by Anthony Cordesman, Center for Strategic and International Studies

Troop levels

• 160,000 US troops are currently deployed in Iraq.

• 1.05 million troops have been stationed in Iraq or Afghanistan since Sept. 11, 2001.

• 32.6 percent of American troops have been sent to Iraq or Afghanistan for two or more tours of duty.

• 23,000 non-US or Iraqi soldiers are serving as part of the Coalition forces.

Sources: US Department of Defense, The Brookings Institution


• As of March 2005, more than 20,000 individuals were working for private contractors in Iraq.

• 6,000 of these were guarding individuals, escorting convoys, or performing other security roles.

• 286 private contractors have been killed.

• As of July 2004, the US had paid out more than $50 billion to civilian contractors. Among the largest contracts: Kellog, Brown & Root, a subsidiary of Halliburton ($10.8 billion); Parsons Corp. ($5.2 billion); Fluor Corp. ($3.8 billion); Washington Group International ($3.1 billion).

Sources: P.W. Singer "Outsourcing the War in Iraq" in Foreign Affairs, The Center for Public Integrity


• 75 journalists have been killed in the war; 2 are missing.

Source: Reporters Without Borders

Iraqi Opinion

• 64 percent of Iraqis predict their lives will improve in the coming year; 69 percent believe the nation will improve.

Source: Oxford Research International for the BBC (November 2005)

The mailbag

• Up to 400,000 pounds of mail is delivered to US service members in the Gulf each day. It arrives on its own 747.

Source: US Postal Service

of 5 stories this month > Get unlimited stories
You've read 5 of 5 free stories

Only $1 for your first month.

Get unlimited Monitor journalism.