lördag 2 februari 2008

När siffror sätts i sammanhang

New York Times tog upp att amerikanska soldater som tjänstgjort i antigen Irak eller Afghanistan åtalats för 121 mord/dråp sedan Irakkriget inleddes, och Aftonbladet ("soldaterna är tickande bomber", DN, SvD, och i stort sett all svensk press hakar naturligtvis på.

Ralph Peters hos New York Post satte dock siffrorna i perspektiv:

A very conservative estimate of how many different service members have passed through Iraq, Afghanistan and Kuwait since 2003 is 350,000 (and no, that's not double-counting those with repeated tours of duty).

Now consider the Justice Department's numbers for murders committed by all Americans aged 18 to 34 - the key group for our men and women in uniform. To match the homicide rate of their peers, our troops would've had to come home and commit about 150 murders a year, for a total of 700 to 750 murders between 2003 and the end of 2007.

In other words, the Times unwittingly makes the case that military service reduces the likelihood of a young man or woman committing a murder by 80 percent.

Men nöjer sig inte med det:

In 2005 alone, 8,718 young Americans from the same age group [som soldaterna] were murdered in this country. That's well over twice as many as the number of troops killed in all our foreign missions since 2001. Maybe military service not only prevents you from committing crimes, but also keeps you alive?

Kudos även till Den osynliga bloggen som tog sig an siffrorna på liknande sätt.

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