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A nation must think before it acts.
After two years of war in Iraq, the United States has suffered more than 13,000 casualties—11,500 wounded and 1,500 dead. This article presents a retrospective of U.S. casualties and surrounding events, focusing on fatalities,1 from the inception of the war through its second anniversary on March 19, 2005. It also analyzes how these fatalities influenced the 2004 presidential election, the results of which indicate that increasing public awareness of and identification with fatalities has the potential of turning the hearts and minds of voters against the president and reducing his ability to achieve his policy goals.