The Lincoln Plawg - the blog with footnotes

Politics and law from a British perspective (hence Politics LAW BloG): ''People who like this sort of thing...'' as the Great Man said

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Thursday, December 30, 2004

Iraq and Vietnam mortality rates compared

An interesting Slate piece suggests that, as a measure of the intensity of the two wars, the rates are alarmingly close - using 1966 as a marker and taking into account the much higher ratio today of non-fatal casualties to deaths and the size of the force engaged.

Also, the families of KIAs tend to be more concentrated:
nearly one-quarter of U.S. combat dead in 2004 were stationed at Camp Pendleton
in Oceanside, CA.

A point not made is that it is wrong to weigh the decrease in lethality of injuries as an unmitigated blessing: apart from the financial cost of caring for wounded men over, in many cases, decades, there is also the emotional burden for the families of these men. To use Tony Blair's favourite expression, they cannot move on as, in time, they might following the death of their loved ones.

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