By Taylor B. Seybolt
A favored fable emerged within the overdue Nineties: in 1900, wars killed one civilian for each 8 squaddies, whereas modern wars have been killing 8 civilians for each one soldier. The neat reversal of numbers was once memorable, and educational courses and UN records on a regular basis mentioned it. The extra it was once mentioned, the extra relied on it grew to become. actually, despite the fact that, next examine stumbled on no empirical facts for the concept the ratio of civilians to squaddies killed in battle has replaced dramatically. yet whereas the ratios won't have replaced, the political value of civilian casualties has risen tremendously.
Over the previous century, civilians in warfare have long gone from having no specific rights to having criminal protections and rights that start to rival these accorded to states. the fear for civilians in clash has develop into so powerful that governments sometimes adopt humanitarian interventions, at nice threat and big price, to guard strangers in far-off lands. I n the early Nineteen Nineties, the UN safeguard Council licensed army interventions to assist feed and safeguard civilians within the Kurdish quarter of Iraq, Somalia, and Bosnia. And in may possibly 2011 , Barack Obama 's nationwide defense consultant defined the U.S.' choice to help NATO's army intervention in those phrases "When the president made this selection, there has been a right away chance to 700,000 Libyan civilians within the city of Benghazi. we now have had successful right here when it comes to with the ability to shield these civilians."
Counting Civilian Casualties aims to advertise open medical discussion via excessive lighting fixtures the strengths and weaknesses of the main established casualty recording and estimation ideas in an comprehensible structure. Its 13 chapters, every one authoritative yet available to nonspecialists, discover quite a few methods, from direct recording to statistical estimation and sampling, to amassing information on civilian deaths brought on by clash. The participants additionally talk about their respective benefits and drawbacks, and learn how figures are used (and misused) by means of governments, rebels, human rights advocates, struggle crimes tribunals, and others. as well as delivering analysts with a large variety of instruments to provide exact information, it will be an in important source for policymakers, army officers, jou rnalists, human rights activists, courts, and traditional those that are looking to be extra informed--and skeptical--consumers of casualty counts.
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Extra info for Counting Civilian Casualties: An Introduction to Recording and Estimating Nonmilitary Deaths in Conflict
Asher, Jana, David L. Banks, and Fritz Scheuren. 2007. Statistical Methods for Human Rights. New York: Springer. Ball, Patrick, et al. 2002. Killings and Refugee Flow in Kosovo, March–June 1999: A Report to the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia. Washington, DC: American Association for the Advancement of Science/American Bar Association Central and East European Law Initiative. , and Paul D. Williams. 2011. “The new politics of protection? ” International Affairs 87(4): 825–50.
Statistical analyses using multiple systems estimation—drawing on the survey and other data—provided complementary information on patterns and causes of mortality over time (see chapter 9 by Manrique-Vallier, Price, and Gohdes in this volume). In this light, civilian casualty estimates represent more than just technical efforts to get accurate numbers. Rather, they enable individuals to understand the nature and causes of a conflict and the roles that various actors played in it. Accurate numbers, produced in transparent ways, with candid acknowledgments of potential error and limits can reduce the chance of politically determined figures becoming social facts.
Millennium Report of the Secretary-General of the United Nations. New York: United Nations Department of Public Information. United Nations General Assembly. 2005. ” A/RES/60/1. October 24. United Nations Security Council. 2011. Resolution 1973. S/Res/1973. March 17. 28 Who Counts? Uppsala Conflict Data Program. se/research/ucdp/program_overview/ about_ucdp/ (accessed July 9, 2012). , and Eric Stover. 2004. ” In My Neighbor, My Enemy: Justice and Community in the Aftermath of Mass Atrocity, edited by Eric Stover and Harvey M.
Counting Civilian Casualties: An Introduction to Recording and Estimating Nonmilitary Deaths in Conflict by Taylor B. Seybolt