Talk:Civilian casualties

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source of numbers on civilian casualty ratios[edit]

are there any civilian casualty ratios numbers out there kind of like 2 or 3000 from wtc bombing compares with a million dead from Iraq war as a 1:300 casualty ratio

or wwII

French or german uniforms: 5 million uniforms 17 million dead 1 per three civilian casualty ratio


<quote>One example of unintended civilian casualties is when an aircraft targets a bridge with a missile, then lauches the missile, and the pilot realizes that a bus full of women and children is driving onto the bridge. The bridge explodes, collapses, and the bus and its occupants are destroyed.</quote>

Women and children are more civilian than men?

This seems tendentious & disputable to me[edit]

These statements seem tendentious to me and disputable:

This statement is fine & is factually true:

"The United States military, also, historically has been willing to attack civilian targets if it is determined that mission success is more valuable than the risk of civilian casualties."

Now the disputable comments begin:

"This is a determination that is not taken lightly."

Some argue that the USA does make these determinations lightly for which there is ample evidence.

The next statement is also tendentious:

"Since anti-war and enemy propagandists often jump at the chance to discredit US military action, such an attack can be detrimental to the mission despite operational success"

"propagandists often jump at the chance to discredit US"--this statement is highly inflammatory and unnecessary.

Why are any of the disputable statements in the article?

Improving this article[edit]

Hi. I have made some improvements, if anyone disagrees then 'be bold' and make further changes. 13:40, 7 July 2006 (UTC)

Combatant/Non-combatant confusion[edit]

There should be a section dedicatd to the confusion or the difficulty in counting civilian casualties when the combatants are not part of a recognized national military and/or are dressed as civilians. Examples include the Viet Cong, Al Qaida, and otehr groups. This should also address the issue of when one side chooses to fight or chooses to attack the other in a civilian-populated area, or use civilian areas as a base or sanctuary. Boneyard90 (talk) 17:22, 1 May 2011 (UTC)

Removed unsourced statement[edit]

The civilian casualty section includes a huge and completely undocumented leap -- saying that the proportion of civilian deaths has been steadily rising. The article that this section points to says exactly the opposite, or a muddled picture at best. I'm removing it.Msalt (talk) 22:20, 29 July 2012 (UTC)

Reliable sources[edit]

I've researched the topic of civilian casualties for several years now and have never found any credible source to show that 90% of all war-related deaths are civilian. In the body of macroquantitative research on war it is not unusual to come across some "magical" figures which are repeated and reiterated over and over again, and the 90% figure is one of them that Wikipedia has been guilty of repeating. Some of the citations can be traced back to Ahlstrom and Nordquist's 1991 "Casualties of conflict: report for the world campaign for the protection of victims of war," which includes refugees and internally displaced persons as casualties, and is in turn partially based on Eckhardt, W. (1989). "Civilian deaths in wartime." Security Dialogue 20(1): 89-98. Eckhardt himself stated that, with a few exceptions, most wars produce an equal number of civilian and combatant casualties.

A statement in this article which I have taken the liberty of removing referred to the ICRC report (without actually citing it); this report used as a source Crimes of War by Roy Gutman and David Rieff, however the book does not cite a source for the 10-to-1 figure.Cmacauley (talk) 17:26, 12 September 2013 (UTC)