Kill rates from police action and air-strikes

The juxtaposition of domestic police shootings in the US and the effectiveness of air strikes in Syria is only because I read one article soon after the other. But numbers always tell a tale – even if it is obscure.

  • Domestic US deaths by police shooting: 385 in 5 months (kill rate 77/month)
  • ISIS fighters killed in Syria by US air strikes: 2217 in 8 months (kill rate 277/month)

I don’t know if any conclusions are justified because, to me, the one seems much higher than it ought to be and the other seems too low. But one observation I have is that kill rate – as a Key Performance Indicator (KPI) – should be maximised in a war but minimised in policing.

Washington Post: 30th May.

Fatal police shootings in 2015 approaching 400 nationwide

……. The three are among at least 385 people shot and killed by police nationwide during the first five months of this year, more than two a day, according to a Washington Post analysis. That is more than twice the rate of fatal police shootings tallied by the federal government over the past decade, a count that officials concede is incomplete.

IB Times: 25th May:

US-Led Airstrikes in Syria Kill 2,217 Isis Fighters

 ….. At least 2,217 Islamic State fighters, mostly European nationals, have been killed in the last eight months by the US-led airstrikes on Isis targets in Syria, a monitoring agency reported.

According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a high number of Isis casualities were reported from Homs, Hama, al Hasakah, Raqqa, Der Ezzor, and Aleppo.

In total, 2,440 people have been killed since the beginning (September 2014) of the US-led coalition airstrikes on Syria.

According to the estimates provided by the International Center for the Study of Radicalisation, a think tank at King’s College London, at least 3,300 Western Europeans and 100 US citizens are believed to have joined the Islamic State.

In one estimate around 700,000 people are killed worldwide by violent, non-war related, events every year. Currently my guesstimate is that around 300,000 may be the death toll due to war. Since the crude mortality rate is about 56 million (8/1000 of population) every year, it follows that about 2% of all deaths are due to the violence of man upon man.

But it also means that among our 7 billion we have about 50 million people who have, by violence, caused the death of another human.


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