Monday, February 20, 2012

Myth Busting: Minorities suffer the most from the Iraq/Afghanistan Wars!

Some in recent years have espoused that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan affect minorities more heavily than whites. The DOD data dispels that notion.
 Whites make up 75.6% of the U.S. population (ages 18-44), and 67% of the total DOD force, but experienced 75.2% (3,525) of the combat casualties. Among the 18-44 age-group, Blacks make up 12.2% of the U.S. population, 17% of the total DOD force, and experienced 9.3% (437) of the total casualties. Hispanics comprise 14.2% of the population, 9% of the total DOD force and had 10.4% (489) of the casualties.

Now that the Myth has been busted let's look at the overall picture of casualties:

The Army (including the Army National Guard and Reserves) comprises 48.8% of the total DOD force, but sustained 73.2% (2,716) of the combat deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Marine Corps (including the Reserves) makes up only 10.8% of the total DOD force, but experienced 23.3% (867) of the combat related deaths. The Navy (including Reserves) make up 18.9% of the total DOD force, and sustained 2.2% (84) of the total combat casualties. The Air Force (including Air National Guard and Reserves) comprises 21.5% of the total DOD force, and experienced 1.1% (40) of the total casualties. There has been one Coast Guard combat casualty.
The active duty forces comprise 55% of the total DOD force and has experienced 81.5% (2,820) of the total deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Reserve forces (Reserves and National Guard) make up 45% of the force, and received 18.4% (863) of the total casualties.
Enlisted personnel make up 83.4% of the total force, and experienced 89.9% (4,212) of the total casualties. Officers (including Warrant Officers) comprise 16.6% of the DOD force and had 10.1% (471) of the casualties.
2.4% (113) of the total fatalities were women, who make up 16% of the total DOD force. Men, who make up 84% of the total force experienced 97.6% (4,570) of the deaths in the two theaters of operation.

Among age groups:

    Ages 18-21 -- 28.2% (1,325) of the deaths
    Ages 22-24 -- 23.7% (1,108) of the deaths
    Ages 25-30 -- 25.6% (1,198) of the deaths
    Ages 31-35 -- 10.4% (486) of the deaths
    Over 35 -- 12.1% (566) of the deaths
Wounded in Action
30,490 U.S. service members have been wounded due to combat actions in Iraq and 2,309 in Afghanistan (32,799 total). The Army experienced 22,948 (70.0%) of those casualties, the Marine Corps 8,721 (26.6%), the Navy 656 (2%), and the Air Force 474 (1.4%).
The Army had 1,515 officers and 19,664 enlisted Soldiers wounded in action. The Marine Corps had 420 officers and 8,178 enlisted Marines WIA. The Navy experienced 35 officers who were WIA, and 621 Sailors. The Air Force statistics include 44 officers WIA and 430 enlisted Airmen WIA.
Active duty personnel comprised 26,056 (79.4%) of the WIA, with 6,743 (20.5%) Guard/Reserve personnel WIA.
The Army had 533 female WIA, the Marine Corps had 41, the Navy had 5, and the Air Force had 27 females WIA in the two combat areas.
Whites made up 25,254 (77.0%) of the WIAs, blacks comprised 2,688 (8.0%), and hispanics made up 2,061 (6.3%) of those wounded in action.

The Real Cost of War
What is the real cost of war? On just one day in September 2001, 2,792 people lost their lives when the twin towers fell in New York.
Military, political, and world affairs experts will long be debating the wisdom and necessity of the "Iraqi War." Was the invasion necessary to the security of the United States, or even necessary for humanitarian or other essential reasons? "Experts" on both sides of the debate continue to disagree.
One thing is certain. The one thing we can never forget is the cost. of war -- any war -- is high. The price tag is not measured only in dollars. It's measured in the loss of the most valuable asset of all -- the price of war is measured in the loss of human lives.

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