May 14, 2009: In the last eight months, U.S. troops in Iraq have had more to fear from accidents, disease and stress, than enemy action. In those eight months, 139 troops died, but only 48 percent as a result of combat. This is a trend that has been growing for over a year.
Through the end of last year, 4,300 U.S. troops have died in Iraq, and 19 percent of those fatalities were from non-combat causes. Most of the non-combat deaths were from accidents and disease. One of the major categories of non-combat death is vehicle accidents. In 2007, 20 percent of the non-combat deaths were from vehicle accidents. But in 2008, overall deaths declined by two thirds (from 904 in 2007, to 312 in 2008), but vehicle accident deaths went from 37 to 19.
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