Winning: The Invisible Enemy in Iraq

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July 24, 2007: The "surge" 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.

 


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