Day by Day

Wednesday, March 10, 2004



There's a war going on in Iraq. But who's winning? Hardly anyone noticed, but U.S. troops aren't losing. American casualties have been steadily declining since they peaked last November (414, including 82 dead). The casualties went down to 306 in December, 234 in January and 167 last month. In February there were twenty American soldiers killed in action, or .79 per day. This was the first month, since the war began, that the troops killed fell to less than one a day.

The reason for the decline in casualties are numerous. Probably the most important one has been the improvements in tactics and training. American troops have developed the habit of carefully studying actual operations, and quickly brainstorming possible solutions for problems encountered. Pretty much anything goes, and officers and troops are encouraged to use their imagination and initiative to come up with new ways of doing things. Each division also has a "discretionary fund" of money that can be spent on equipment and weapons that the army does not normally buy. These attitudes, which are rare in military organizations, have produced dozens of new tactics and techniques for dealing with roadside bombs and ambushes. Even though the Iraqi resistance was quickly changing their tactics, the troops have been faster, and more effective.
StrategyPage : Military news about Iraq

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