But not only are American deaths in Iraq this month at a three-year high, the number of U.S. troops killed as a percentage of the total number of “boots on the ground” is higher this month than in June 2003 and nearly as high as in June 2004. For example, there are currently 46,000 U.S. troops in Iraq. Fifteen deaths is 0.032 percent of the total. In June 2003, the U.S. had 147,400 “boots on the ground” and 36 Americans died in Iraq that month, or 0.024 percent of the total number of troops:
Some analysts have said that the primary reason attacks on U.S. troops have increased significantly in recent months is because top U.S. officials have been saying publicly that the U.S. military will stay past the Dec. 31, 2011 total withdrawal deadline. One former Iraqi U.N. diplomat said that “U.S. soldiers are likely being targeted more now because there is talk that Iraqi and American officials will try to keep additional troops” past 2011.