Iraq War Casualty Predictions
If we go into Iraq, how many casualties do you expect to see (on the side of the US and our allies)
John Hawkins: “Probably 300 or less”
Charles Johnson:“Very few”
Henry Hanks: “Less than 200”
Laurence Simon: “A Few hundred”
Rachael Lucas: “Less than three thousand”
Scott Ott: “Dozens”
Glenn Reynolds: “Fewer than 100”
Tim Blair: “Below 50”
Ken Layne: “a few hundred”
Steven Den Beste: “50-150”
Having begun blogging only at the end of January 2003, I wasn’t surveyed. I did, however, predict on February 24 that “victory in Iraq will be swift and relatively bloodless.” I don’t recall whether I actually blogged my casualty predictions but my internal working estimate was the same as Hawkins’ – 300 or fewer American troops killed. I figured, basically, that it would be “Desert Storm times two.”
We’re now at something like 4326 American troops dead.
Then again, I wasn’t counting on a multi-year occupation during which we fought against multiple insurgent groups while trying to democratize Iraq. I presumed, as did Don Rumsfeld and others, that we would topple Saddam Hussein’s government, install an interim government, and elect a permanent government within some short period.
That’s the war I supported and still wish that’s what we’d done.
1. The more interesting finding in Hawkins’ poll is this:
Will a human baby be cloned in 2003?
Yes: John Hawkins, Charles Johnson, Henry Hanks, Laurence Simon, Rachael Lucas, Scott Ott
No: Glenn Reynolds, Tim Blair, Ken Layne
N/A: Steven Den Beste
So far as I’m aware, none was cloned in 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, or the first half of 2009. It’s remarkable how excited people were at this prospect.
2. OTB was a decidedly different blog in the early days. Few of my posts in February 2003, my first real month of blogging, were as long as the Digressions section of this post.