Charting War Fatalities

By Matt Stiles | | Topics: Policy & Politics

The Washington Post this morning reports on Army Spec. David Hickman, who died last month in Bagdad, the victim of a roadside bomb. The paper notes that Hickman could very well be the last last of the 4,474 Americans to die in Iraq: 

With the final U.S. combat troops crossing out of Iraq into Kuwait, those who held Hickman dear are struggling to come to terms with the particular poignancy of his fate. As the unpopular war that claimed his life quietly rumbles to a close, you can hear within his inner circle echoes of John F. Kerry’s famous 1971 congressional testimony on Vietnam:

How do you ask a man to be the last man to die for a mistake?

The story is accompanied, both online and in print, by a column chart visualizing day-by-day fatalities during the eight-year war. This version shows all deaths: 

This version shows soldiers who, like Hickman, died from improvised explosive devices: 

Charting Troops in Iraq

By Matt Stiles | | Topics: Uncategorized

President Obama on Friday announced that U.S. troops would be leaving Iraq by year’s end. The New York Timestake

The president’s statement, coming a day after a NATO air campaign hastened the death of Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi in Libya, was laden with symbolism, marking the ebb tide of a decade of American military engagement that began after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. It also capped a remarkable period of foreign-policy accomplishments for a president who is hindered by a poor economy at home.

The Times also has an interactive column chart visualizing the number of troops in Iraq since the war began:

Here’s the view of Afghanistan, which has followed a different trajectory: