US War Dead in Iraq Exceeds Early Vietnam Years
PHILADELPHIA (Reuters) - The U.S. death toll in Iraq (news - web sites) has surpassed the number of American soldiers killed during the first three years of the Vietnam War, the brutal Cold War conflict that cast a shadow over U.S. affairs for more than a generation.
A Reuters analysis of Defense Department statistics showed on Thursday that the Vietnam War, which the Army says officially began on Dec. 11, 1961, produced a combined 392 fatal casualties from 1962 through 1964, when American troop levels in Indochina stood at just over 17,000.
By comparison, a roadside bomb attack that killed a soldier in Baghdad on Wednesday brought to 397 the tally of American dead in Iraq, where U.S. forces number about 130,000 troops -- the same number reached in Vietnam by October 1965.
Larger still is the number of American casualties from the broader U.S. war on terrorism, which has produced 488 military deaths in Iraq, Afghanistan (news - web sites), the Philippines, Southwest Asia and other locations.