Qual Quant (2015) 49:21–37
A statistical analysis of Iraq body counts
Published online: 22 November 2013
© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013
Abstract The Iraq conﬂict is one of the most outrageous and unprovoked aggressions
unleashed by the West. Here, we provide a statistical analysis of the number of civilians
deaths resulting from the US-led invasion. For this purpose, we propose several new discrete
distributions. The distributions are ﬁtted to the data on the number of deaths by maximum
likelihood. Variables like province, cause of death and time are taken as covariates. Useful
predictions are given on the number of deaths.
Keywords Discrete distributions · Number of deaths · Predictions
The invasion of Iraq led by US forces began on 20 March 2003. Other countries also sent
forces to Iraq, including the UK, South Korea, Italy, Poland, Australia, Georgia, Ukraine,
Netherlands, and Spain.
Much of the evidence for Iraq war was based on weapons of mass destruction (including
Yellowcake uranium, Poison gas and biological weapons), connections to anthrax attacks and
connections to the 11 September attacks. As often the case in the West, most of this evidence
was fabricated and found to have no substance. The Iraq conﬂict has led to over one million
deaths, including deaths of over 100,000 civilians.
US led forces also committed numerous human right abuses during the conﬂict, including
Abu Ghraib torture and prisoner abuse, Haditha killings of 24 civilians, white phosphorus use,
gang-rape and murder of a 14-year-old girl and the murder of her family in Mahmoudiyah,
the torture and killing of prisoner of war, Iraqi Air Force commander, Abed Hamed Mow-
housh, the killing of Baha Mousa, Mukaradeeb wedding party massacre of 42 civilians, and
Blackwater Baghdad shootings.
S. Nadarajah (
School of Mathematics, University of Manchester, Manchester, UK