Kim emailed yesterday to ask a good question:“What are the leading causes of death for each of these years/eras? Is there any data on this?”
Don’t know why I didn’t stop to ask that question myself. On Sunday, I was in such a hurry to get the blog posted, so shocked by the blatantly incorrect data, that I didn’t delve into this slightly deeper question. But it’s a good one.
And, turns out,the same report provides the answers…for those willing to look it up.
Just one page over from the page I cited Sunday (meaning: page 11), you will find a more detailed table called:“US Active Duty Military Deaths, 1980 Through 2006”
This table provides a chart listing out the deaths each year by different standardized categories.The categories are:
Turns out, the greatest cause of death of active military personnel inevery single year since 1980 was “Accident.” The second-greatest cause in most years was “Illness.” Sadly, “Self-Inflicted” and “Homicide” are the third and fourth most populous categories.
The statistic that jumped out for me during Clinton’s time was “Terrorist Attack.” And the total number who died during Clinton’s two terms was: 75
This compares to just 55 for the first six years of Bush’s term.
By the way, the biggest number of terrorism deaths since 1980 happened in 1983, during Reagan’s tenure, and the number of deaths was: 263.
(Was this Beirut? I’m thinking it must have been…)
One of the more interesting stats, then, is a direct, “apples-to-apples” comparison of “Hostile Action” deaths in both the Bush and Clinton years.
Of course, we’ve been in a war for this past half decade now. It makes sense to assume Bush’s total would be higher, despite the insinuation of the email that started all of this.
Sure enough, that’s the case.Total Active Military Deaths due to “Hostile Action:
Six years of George W. Bush (2001-2006): 2,596.
Eight years of Bill Clinton (1993-2000): One.