Number of Americans Wounded in Iraq is Obscured by Fog of War…and Peace
Friday, January 06, 2012
Most Americans simply don’t want to think about the Iraq War anymore. But that is not an option for hundreds of thousands of veterans and their families.
Exactly how many U.S. troops died in Iraq is pretty well established: 4,487 dead. But determining how many U.S. personnel were wounded in the war and during the prolonged occupation that followed is much more uncertain.
The Department of Defense says 32,226 were hurt. But this total only includes soldiers who sustained combat-related wounds from an “external agent or cause” (i.e. getting shot or hit with shrapnel).
What about the men and women who came home with “invisible” wounds–brain injuries, post-traumatic stress (PTSD), depression, hearing loss, etc?
If those injuries are factored in, the U.S. count could soar into the hundreds of thousands, writes Dan Froomkin at Nieman Watchdog.
For instance, a RAND study three years ago estimated that 14% of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans tested positive for PTSD, 14% for major depression and 19% for possible traumatic brain injury. Using those percentages against the 1.5 million who served in Iraq, Froomkin estimated that 200,000 could have PTSD or major depression and 285,000 may suffer from serious brain injuries.
How Many U.S. Soldiers Were Wounded in Iraq? We Have No Idea (by Dan Froomkin, Nieman Watchdog)
Iraq Coalition Casualties: U.S. Wounded Totals (iCasualties.org)
Pentagon Ignores Congressional Order on Brain Tests for Returning Troops (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)
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