offensive in and around Baghdad is paying off, at least according to the
casualties and bombs going off. In April, May and June, there were about four
American combat deaths a day, but that is down to 2.7 for July. The main reason
is that there are fewer roadside bombs (IEDs), and the reason for that is more
of the IED factories, and specialists that make and plant them, are being taken
out of action. Iraqi security forces and civilians are also suffering fewer
casualties (from 3,000 in February to about a thousand for July).
Despite the publicity given to
the increase in combat casualties during the surge operations, the biggest
danger to American troops remains accidents and disease. Only 22 percent of
patients flown to Germany for more advanced medical care, were combat injuries.
The rest were accidents, and, most of all, diseases. There are a lot of
microbes and viruses in Iraq and Afghanistan that Americans have little or no
resistance to. This has been known since World War II, when thousands of
American troops were stationed in the Persian Gulf to help move lend-lease aid
(weapons and supplies) to the Russians.