Thursday 22 September 2011

How do you view this story?

From the SMH:

WASHINGTON: The counterinsurgency tactic that is sending US soldiers out on foot patrols among the Afghan people, rather than riding in armoured vehicles, has contributed to a dramatic increase in arm and leg amputations, sometimes with the loss of multiple limbs following blast injuries.

The number of US troops who had amputations rose sharply from 86 in 2009, to 187 last year and 147 so far this year, military officials said, releasing a report on catastrophic wounds.

Of those, the number of troops who lost two or three limbs rose from 23 in 2009 to 72 last year to 77 so far this year. Only about a dozen of all amputations came from Iraq; the rest were from Afghanistan, where militants are pressing the insurgency with roadside bombs, handmade landmines and other explosives.

Officials said genital injuries also have risen significantly, but they did not give specific figures.

The sharp rise in severe injuries came as a build-up of foreign forces expanded the counterinsurgency strategy that seeks to protect civilians, win their support away from insurgents and help build an Afghan government the population will embrace. The soldier on foot is at greater risk for severe injuries, the report noted, ''and the injury severity [in Afghanistan] confirms this''.

A study by military doctors found that while the severity of injuries was rising, fewer soldiers were being killed in action.

As terrible as the loss of limbs is, it's bloody marvellous that the lives of so many badly wounded soldiers are being saved. The medical care our soldiers get these days is absolutely amazing. To keep someone alive on the battlefield after they've lost three limbs would have been viewed as a miracle 30 years ago.


Anonymous said...

Wow, some soldies are paying a very high price for somebody's skewed ideas on how best to wage a war that is probably unwinnable.

Stuff that hearts and minds crap - I'd want to ride around in a Hymvee and keep my legs/arms/balls intact, thankyou very much.

silverwolf1954 said...

strip bomb the entire useless backward savages with pigs blood......drone every single mullah....then turn to pakistan.....and repeat....

there....i do not feel better now....

but obama and his dickhead advisers should be tried in a military court.....

1735099 said...

Silverwolf1954 -
That's been done - remember - "bombing them into the stone age" in North Vietnam. That worked a treat, didn't it? Then there was Cambodia. Many historians contend that the initially clandestine bombing was the trigger that ultimately handed power to Pol Pot's murderous Khmer Rouge -
BOAB - The magic hour worked in Vietnam, although triage generally has probably improved since then. Dustoff choppers made all the difference.

silverwolf1954 said...

1735099 -

I'll leave aside your conclusions re Vietnam and surrounds, notwithstanding I fail to see how you could conventionally bomb stone age savages from Afghanistan back to the stone age.

My main point is that the cretinous chain of command that puts good soldiers in such deliberate harms way should be sent to trial.

And I think it is just fantastic that battlefield medical procedures have advanced to such a state where lives are spared.

And, very sorry, poor choice of words viz, strip bomb.

Spray the country from one end to the other with Pigs Blood a la General Pershing

And I still don't feel any better after my follow up rant.

perturbed said...

Reminds me of the journal article I saw once about a guy who'd been electrocuted at very high tension - some horrendous proportion of third degree burns, he lost three of his limbs (one arm spared) and had to have his external genitalia amputated. The article closed with "prospects for rehabilitation are excellent."

Didn't know whether to laugh or cry. In that situation, I'd be glad to have one hand left so I could shoot myself.