Study: 59 Percent of Iraqi Widows Lost Husbands Under US Occupation

Warns Massive Number of Widows Could Lead to Terrorism

It is common sense that the massive death toll over the eight years of occupation in Iraq would create more widows. But a new study by the humanitarian aid organization Relief International has found the problem far greater than anyone likely imagined.

The study found that some 10 percent of the women in Iraq are widows, about 1.5 million of them. Of these, 59 percent lost their husbands during the period since the US occupation began in 2003.

Just a quick bit of math shows that to be some 900,000 women who lost their husbands since 2003, an enormous number that once again points to the civilian death toll since 2003 being much larger than the US ever cared to admit.

But while this shows the enormity of the past violence, the report isn’t about that, but rather about pointing out the major current problem. Being a widow in war-torn Iraq is tough, and those widows are likely to be desperate and vulnerable to recruitment for terror attacks. 900,000 more desperate Iraqis point again to a war that is far from over.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.