Conquering Small Countries is Easy

Numerous comparisons have been made between the current Iraq War and the Vietnam War, with some likening the two situations and others decrying the notion of any similarity. Some comparisons, including an analysis by Dr. Atul Gawande in the New England Journal of Medicine, show conclusively that improvements in medical technology have decreased the battlefield death rate significantly. Researching the statistics, Dr. Gawande shows that combat death rates from injury dropped from 30% during World War II to 24% during Vietnam, and to 10% in Iraq and Afghanistan. This decrease in mortality has been used to show that without modern medicine, American fatalities in Iraq would run at close to 2200 per year instead of the current 900 per year. But even at 2200 casualties per year, the Iraq conflict would pale in comparison to Vietnam, where on average 9000 American soldiers were killed each year during America’s heaviest presence (1966-1971).
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