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WP: Rotation Reassessed as Toll Spikes

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kskiska Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 09:57 PM
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WP: Rotation Reassessed as Toll Spikes
Thursday, April 8, 2004; Page A01


Unlike earlier spikes in casualty figures, notably ones last autumn that resulted from a few helicopter crashes, the latest jump reflects a broad range of incidents, from fierce firefights to roadside bombs. U.S. military deaths in Iraq since the invasion now total 635, including 444 caused by hostile fire. The number of wounded has reached 2,988.

As a sign of growing Pentagon concern about deteriorating security, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld raised the possibility yesterday that some U.S. troops scheduled to leave Iraq in the next few weeks might be kept in place to counter the mounting unrest. Many of the U.S. troops who died in the past week arrived only recently in Iraq, part of a rotation of forces that began earlier this year to replace war-weary veterans.


In a departure from casualty reporting practices by U.S. forces in Iraq over the past year, the Marine Corps adopted a policy last month of disclosing only the number of Marines killed on any given day. Marine casualty announcements now generally list the cause of death simply as "enemy action." Occasionally a phrase is added saying the deceased were engaging in "security and stability operations" when they died.

By contrast, announcements of Army war dead, while hardly expansive, continue to give at least the time of day that an attack occurred, the nearest town and the nature of the attack -- an explosion of a roadside bomb, for instance, or small-arms or grenade fire.

In an explanatory note often posted with its death announcements, the Marine Corps calls the lack of detail a "force protection measure," saying the release of more information could aid enemy fighters "in assessing the effectiveness or lack thereof with regard to their tactics, techniques and procedures."

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Gloria Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 10:13 PM
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1. Makes me wonder if the timing of all this is somehow related to the
Edited on Wed Apr-07-04 10:25 PM by Gloria
troop rotation. I recall Hillary detailing the nature of the troop rotation and that it would occur around February. The way she presented it was that this would be very vulnerable period. So now we are told that many of the dead are recent arrivals....probably not fully acclimated to the physical hardships etc.

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boobooday Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 10:42 PM
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2. force protection measure
Hey -- I've got an idea -- bring them home.

The Bush administration further insults the soldiers when their deaths are barely acknowledged, and hidden, and they cook the numbers like projected earnings, or the cost of a Medicare bill.
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