Iraq: the Human Cost

Further Reading

This section provides links to several useful sites and reports that provide additional dimensions of the human cost of the Iraq war. Included here are other accounts of mortality, reports about violence, displacement, and other effects of war, opinion polls, and other resources.

Recent discussion

Cost of War project from the "Eisenhower Poject" (June 2011)

Little Respite for Iraq's Children in 2007, UNICEF December 2007 (pdf)

Michael Massing on the human cost, N.Y. Review of Books,   Dec 20 '07 and  Jan 17 '08

Boston Globe op-ed: The Murky Toll of the Iraq War (January 19, 2008)

Returning Iraqis face lack of services, property disputes, McClatchy Newspapers, January 2008

Real News video, "One million killed in Iraq?" at You Tube (February 2008)

Wayne White, "Iraq: The Bottom Line on Falling Casualties." November 7, 2007.

Burnham and Roberts "U.S. must face huge death toll of Iraqi civilians." Baltimore Sun, October 9, 2007

Corrections to recent criticism of Lancet-published surveys, from Burnham and Roberts: letter and fact sheet, Jan. '08 . Media analysis from London-based Media Lens. And an overview from The Chronicle of Higher Education

General conditions


Iraq Family Health Survey, 2006-07, Iraq Ministry of Health

U.N. mission in Iraq : and other data and analysis

Institute for War and Peace Reporting, timely reports from Iraqi journalists

Oxfam and the NGO Coordination Council in Iraq, "Rising to the Humanitarian Challenge in Iraq," July 30, 2007, documenting the broad humanitarian challenge.

Kathryn Millar "A Human Security Analysis of the Iraq War," Human Security Journal (Sciences-Po, Paris), June 2006

Multinational Force, website of the occupation authorities

Displacement, refugees

Women's Commission for Refugee Women and Children, reports from Jordan and elsewhere

Relief Web, a compilation of many NGOs' and IOs' field reports, on Iraq

"Security, Displacement and Iraq" from the Brookings Institution, Aug. 2007

"Rate of Displacement Rising," UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Aug. 2007

Iraqi Red Crescent Report, 2007

Iraqis in Jordan, 2007, numbers and characteristics, FAFO and UNHCR

Mortality surveys/analysis

New England Journal of Medicine, mortality study by the Iraq Ministry of Health, January 2008.     Supplementary data (for total mortality data).     Analysis by Juan Cole.

Opinion Research Business, London (Jan. 2008), finds one million Iraqis killed in war

Gilbert Burnham et al, "Mortality after the 2003 invasion of Iraq: a cross-sectional
cluster sample survey," The Lancet (Oct. 2006), finding 600,000 dead by violence to July 2006

Les Roberts et al, "Mortality before and after the 2003 invasion of Iraq: cluster sample survey," The Lancet (Oct 2004), finding 98,000 died in the first 18 months of the war.

Iraq Body Count, and the U.N. site (above)

Deltoid, maintained by Tim Lambert, for technical discussions of statistical analyses related to Iraq war mortality


Opinion surveys of Iraqis

March 2008 poll: Results of surge, quality of life mixed in Iraqis' view

ABC News (March 2007), a large sample conducted jointly with other news media (BBC, USA Today)

Opinion Research Business (March 2007 survey) on general effects of the war on daily life and views

State Department (Sept. 2006), showing large majorities opposed to U.S. presence

University of Maryland (Sept. 2006), U.S. provoking more violence than it is preventing

University of Maryland (Sept. 2006), Iraqis want U.S. out within year

University of Michigan (June 2006)

Human Rights Conditions

Human Rights Watch reports

Amnesty International:  5-year report, "Carnage and Despair"; and its 2006 report on torture and detentions

The Observer (London), Oct. 2006, status of women

Le Monde Diplomatique, June 2007, status of women

Les Roberts, "The Iraq War: Do Civilian Casualties Matter?" Audit of the Conventional Wisdom/MIT Center for International Studies (May 2005).

Understanding Violence

The New Sunni Landscape, reports from International Crisis Group ( 30 April 2008)

Video: Iraq's Three Civil Wars - Talk by Juan Cole, Dec. 10, 2007

Violence and Insecurity: The Challenge in the Global South, Diane E. Davis

Human Bombs: Rethinking Religion and Terror, by Nichole Argo

Why Do Islamist Groups Become Transnational and Violent? Quinn Mecham

Transnational Violence in the Persian Gulf, MIT workshop report (2006)

The Ontology of "Political Violence": Action and Identity in Civil Wars, By Stathis N. Kalyvas

Casualties: Narrative and Images of the War on Iraq. Seiji Yamada, Mary C. Smith Fawzi, Gregory G. Maskarinec, and Paul E. Farmer