Skip to content
  • Why body counts are a bad metric for judging Islamic state fight

    Bloomberg - 06/04/2015

    Estimates of Islamic State’s membership have been “all over the place,” said Max Abrahms, an assistant professor of political science at Northeastern University in Boston who specializes in Islamic militant groups. The 10,000 casualty estimate seems high “because there is a widespread view that Islamic State’s membership size has been growing,” he said.

    The use of body counts got a bad reputation during the Vietnam War, when numbers were exaggerated and even fabricated in efforts to show that the U.S. was winning, Abrahms said.

    By turning to such metrics now, said Abrahms, the administration seems to be trying to counter the “widespread view that the military campaign against Islamic State is not going well and that the military response has been too passive.”

  • Cookies on Northeastern sites

    This website uses cookies and similar technologies to understand your use of our website and give you a better experience. By continuing to use the site or closing this banner without changing your cookie settings, you agree to our use of cookies and other technologies. To find out more about our use of cookies and how to change your settings, please go to our Privacy Statement.