In traditional warfare, battlefield cost-equations are generally tabulated through a 10:1 ratio of troop advantage within a particular locale and a 3:1 theater-wide advantage. In other words, war planners have been, at least since Vietnam, generally uncomfortable with risking casualties above and beyond such ranges for fear of losing public support. Essentially, so the argument goes, Americans have not only lost their appetite for intolerable levels of military deaths, but also for reports of significant mass-killings of enemy troops.
According to Shaw, this risk-transfer has resulted in a policy of strategic engagement emphasizing the reduction of American casualties through so-called remote warfare, such as aerial bombings coupled with ground campaigns focusing on relatively few enemy deaths ranging in the neighborhood of 50 or less. According to Shaws website, The Western way of war, with its deep risk-aversion for its own soldiers and citizens, claims the ultimately impossible standard of clean or at least cleaner war. Its pretensions to civilian protection are easily represented as
hypocritical - its thousands of civilian victims speak otherwise.
The inevitable result of this management is a daily barrage of casualty reports in which a handful of U.S. soldiers are killed alongside several dozen or less Iraqi insurgents. These days, unfortunately, we are discovering that many of these supposed insurgents are actually civilians. According to Omar al-Juburi, spokesman for the human rights section of the party led by Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi, "The US forces have violated human rights many times across Iraq." In the latest string, Juburi alleges three separate mini-Hadithas in May in which U.S. forces collectively killed 29 Iraqi civilians in the towns of Latifiyah and Yusifiyah, south of Baghdad, and in the capital itself.