By Tamara Stone
The Iraq war is one of the most hotly debated political issues in today’s world. Questions about whether or not the United States had the right to invade, what our motives were, whether we have the capacity to win the war now that we’re there, and whether or not we should pull out now are constantly talked about on the news, in publication, and even on the Union College campus.
Questioning one student about the war, she stated: “While I don’t watch the news, and therefore don’t really know what’s going on with the war, I do think that it’s an issue that’s not going to be going away anytime soon.”
Another student offered her suggestion on what the United States’ next steps should be: “[We should] limit our involvement so we can retract the troops sooner. However, I don’t think we should pull out all at once. The Iraqi government is not stable enough for that.”
Upon researching statistics of the war, I discovered that as of October 2010, there had been 2,300 Iraqi civilian fatalities. While that number seems high, this past year has the lowest number of fatalities tracing back to the start of the war in 2003, with a high of 16,800 in 2004. As for wounded American soldiers, there are 375 on record as of October 2010. Tracing back to 2003, the highest number of U.S. wounded on record occurred in 2004 with an astounding 8,004.
After seeing these statistics, it seems as though the war effort is improving slightly with each passing year. While the war shows no signs of ending anytime in the near future, it’s good to know that the number of casualties and injuries is decreasing. As one Union student put it, “We just want our soldiers to come home safe!”