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 Civilian casualty ratio

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Join date : 2010-10-10

PostSubject: Civilian casualty ratio   Mon Dec 13, 2010 11:02 pm

In armed conflicts, the civilian casualty ratio (also civilian death ratio, civilian-combatant ratio, etc.) is the ratio of civilian casualties to combatant casualties, or total casualties. The measurement can apply either to casualties inflicted by a particular belligerent, or to casualties in the conflict as a whole.

According to a 2001 study by the International Committee of the Red Cross, the civilian-to-soldier death ratio in wars fought since the mid-20th century has been 10:1, meaning ten civilian deaths for every soldier death.[1] Mary Kaldor writes that the civilian to combatant casualty ratio was 8:1 in wars in the 1990s, meaning eight civilian deaths for every combatant death. This constitutes a reversal of the ratio at the turn of the 20th century, which stood at 1:8, meaning only one civilian death for every eight combatant deaths.[2]

In 2007, Israel achieved a ratio of 1:30, or one civilian casualty for every thirty combatant casualties, in its airstrikes on militants in the Gaza Strip.[3] According to Professor Alan Dershowitz of Harvard Law School, "No army in history has ever had a better ratio of combatants to civilians killed in a comparable setting".[4]

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