SEARCH BLOG: IRAQ
Since President Bush has asked for more money and soldiers, Iraq, which is a dirty little war, continues to consume Americans' attention and generate high emotion about its costs... especially the lives of its servicemen... closing in on 3,000.
Let's take a closer look,
Below are charts from www.globalsecurity.org:
Compare this to Vietnam (1964-73):
BRANCH OF NUMBER BATTLE OTHER
SERVICE SERVING DEATHS DEATHS
TOTAL 8,744,000 47,378 10,799
ARMY 4,368,000 30,922 7,273
NAVY 1,842,000 1,631 931
MARINES 794,000 13,084 1,753
AIR FORCE 1,740,000 1,741 842
In case that is difficult to make out, there were 58,000 deaths in Vietnam or about 20 times what has been experienced in Iraq.
That comparison is not meant to minimize the cost or suffering of our soldiers in Iraq. It meant is to highlight the significant differences in the way that the military is operating today in an insurgent situation versus 40 years ago. War will always be dirty and painful and costly... but, increasingly, the brunt of the cost is for more effective weapon systems and keeping our soldiers safer.
Whatever you think about the politics of the war, the execution of the war is a magnitude better. Perhaps our collective impatience will cause us to take the same path that we did in Vietnam. If so, we may have to face more significant consequences later.