Attrition: War Losses


January 19, 2006: The number of enlisted troops leaving military service in the United States each year is on the rise. The loss was 118,206 in 2002, but that had increased to nearly 140,000 in 2005. Thisincludes the normal losses from enlistments ending, medical discharges and deaths. The increase in losses since 2002 is largely related to the Iraq war. In addition to several thousand troops discharged in 2005 because of combat injuries (death and severe injuries), there are more leaving because of diseases picked up over there. The main source of additional losses comes from the reserves, who have been mobilized in large numbers. Many reservists don't like getting mobilized for long periods, and they demonstrate their displeasure by not reenlisting. However, the number of troops lost each year is still lower than it was in the 1990s, due to so many troops reenlisting.


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