Ministry of Defence

Sheila Bird, Clive Fairweather and Patrick Mercer MP :: Thu, 03/03/2011 - 15:21

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Counted out, but not in

Since 1 May 2006, Bird and Fairweather have reported every 20 weeks on military fatalities in Afghanistan by nationality and cause.

Simon Briscoe :: Sun, 16/08/2009 - 09:32

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Afghan casualty figures

The Ministry of Defence/DASA finally succumbed to pressure to publish (on 30 July) casualty, in addition to fatality, figures from Iraq and Afghanistan. Bravo.

The figures show that injuries in Afghanistan are currently running at their highest rate since the operation started. There were more “wounded in action” admitted to field hospital in June and the first half of July than in the previous five months in total.

While the release of data was welcomed, they are unlikely to satisfy the need for more detail. The various categories of the injured - casualties, field hospital admissions, aeromed evacuations and those receiving treatment in UK -based facilities - fluctuate differently from month to month giving an ambiguous picture.

The distinction between “very seriously injured” and “seriously injured” is also likely to come under close analysis. There is no clear definition as to which injuries fall under which category so there is a risk that, now data are in the public domain, more people will be allocated to the less serious categories.

Such a distortion to civilian road accident statistics was highlighted this week by the UK Statistics Authority, as it suggested that hospital admissions might be a more reliable source than data published by the Transport Department which comes from the police with road safety targets to hit.

Sheila Bird :: Thu, 16/07/2009 - 14:09

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At war with statistics

Two claims have been made by ministers about British casualties in Afghanistan and whether there is a link between the numbers of soldiers killed and the numbers of helicopters deployed. Both are susceptible to checking - were the actual figures available.