Our goal is to shed as much light as possible on controversial claims and counter-claims involving important national issues and the records of the various presidential candidates.The first candidate they consider is Fred Thompson who said recently:
If you look back over our history, it will not take you long to realize that our people have shed more blood for other people's liberty than any other combination of nations in the history of the world -- Fred Thompson, stump speech in Iowa, September 6, 2007.According to the Washington Post, "while heavy, U.S. military casualties are still relatively low in comparison to the military casualties of its World War II and World War I allies. In World War II alone, the Soviet Union suffered at least eight million military deaths, or ten times the number of U.S. deaths in all wars combined."
"Even if we exclude the Soviet Union from the calculation, U.S. military deaths in all wars combined remain lower than those of the British Commonwealth ("a combination of nations," in Thompson's phrase) in World War I and World War II. According to the Commonwealth War Graves commission, 1.7 million soldiers of the British commonwealth were killed in the two World Wars.
You can check the article for US casualties in each of the foreign wars starting with the Spanish-American War through to the Iraq War and Afghanistan which amount to 623,288.
The Post has a very amusing rating scale:
The Pinocchio Test
Thompson's jingoistic assertion cannot be supported by the facts, barring some very tortuous definition of the phrase "other people's liberty." We asked his campaign for factual support for the candidate's claim, but they have not so far responded. We therefore award Fred Thompson four Pinocchios. (About our rating scale.)