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  1. #1
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default War dead are sneaked out of the back gate

    The full title is 'As Dave 'does the talking', war dead are sneaked out of the back gate', a polemical article by Peter Hitchens, on the decision to move the dead from Afghanistan upon landing at RAF Brize Norton to a reception hospital without passing through a village and leaving the base via a rear gate. In the hope public respect will not occur under public and TV cameras gaze.

    Referring to David Cameron:
    ..he’d much rather the public scenes of grief and remembrance in that place had never happened, and that nobody noticed the frequent deaths his weakness and political cowardice are causing.

    In the same way, the Defence Ministry has almost completely succeeded in covering up the appalling numbers of men who have been gravely injured in Afghanistan because the Government hasn’t the guts to quit this meaningless war. We hardly ever see them.
    (My understanding is that severely injured, if not disabled, are eight times those with fatal injuries).

    The official version is that the families of the dead will be using a new ‘Repatriation Centre’ at Brize Norton, and that it is near the back gate. Routing the hearses through the base might disrupt its normal operations.

    (Citing the MoD Minister)The side gate was seen by the Ministry of Defence and the police as the most appropriate way to take out future corteges. I am not sure taking coffins in hearses past schools, past families, past married quarters is necessarily the thing that everybody would wish to see .  .  . the focus must be on the families of the dead service personnel. They are the people who care most. That is where our focus is.
    Link:http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/ar...#ixzz1R2EQPudZ

    For some months it has been known the respect shown - familiar in newsreel, with larger crowds each time it appears - in Wootton Bassett, a small village near RAF Lyneham, would end. Hopefully the attachments will show that!

    I have a recollection that US war dead, from Iraq, upon arrival at Bangor, Maine, were not photographed aboard the aircraft at one point and there was a controversy over someone taking such photos.

    The Canadian response has been different, based on viewing amazing You Tube segments as corteges move along highways; I've also seen similar footage in the USA.

    In my experience of three local military funerals, different from original reception I know, there was a very small public presence, partly as the funerals are rarely public events, even if say the Queen's local representative and civil figures attended.
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    Council Member ganulv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by davidbfpo View Post
    I have a recollection that US war dead, from Iraq, upon arrival at Bangor, Maine, were not photographed aboard the aircraft at one point and there was a controversy over someone taking such photos.
    For the better part of the [George W.] Bush administration an already-on-the-books policy prohibiting photographs of returning war dead was enforced; the policy was rescinded in 2009.

    The Canadian response has been different, based on viewing amazing You Tube segments as corteges move along highways; I've also seen similar footage in the USA.
    I spent several days in Simcoe County in the summer of 2009 and the CF’s involvement in Afghanistan was noticeably front-and-center in public consciousness as compared to what I was accustomed to in the States.
    Last edited by ganulv; 07-03-2011 at 01:38 PM. Reason: typo fix
    If you don’t read the newspaper, you are uninformed; if you do read the newspaper, you are misinformed. – Mark Twain (attributed)

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    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default The terrible price that is paid by the forgotten casualties of war

    In the opening post I stated:
    My understanding is that severely injured, if not disabled, are eight times those with fatal injuries.
    Note the cited source was written In August 2009 as we reached:
    ..the 200th British military death in Afghanistan...

    A much more telling statistic than the number of dead is the number of wounded. Even more important than this is the number of severely wounded men and women and the startling ratio of wounded to dead. In the second world war the ratio of dead to wounded was 1:4. During the Vietnam war there were 15 wounded men for every American fatality in theatre. In Afghanistan and Iraq the ratio for British and American troops is between 1:30 and 1:40.

    Today, in Afghanistan, a significant proportion of our wounded soldiers are so-called ‘tier-four’ casualties. That essentially means they have suffered such a combination of catastrophic wounds, say loss of limbs and brain damage, that they would not have survived in any previous war.

    For every 30 wounded casualties there is an average of seven men with tier-four injuries. There may already be between 2,000 and 3,000 soldiers grievously wounded in Iraq or Afghanistan who are in this tier-four category.
    Comparisons are also made:
    ...a lower death rate than the conflict in Northern Ireland between 1969 and 1977, and obviously at a much lower rate than in the Falklands war where 250 British servicemen died in three months. (We tend to forget that the IRA killed 146 members of British security forces in 1972 alone..
    Link:http://www.spectator.co.uk/essays/al...s-of-war.thtml

    Perhaps here in the Uk care has dramatically changed, in hospitals and outside. As Scots say "I'ave me doubts".
    davidbfpo

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    Council Member ganulv's Avatar
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    Default Medicine has improved quite a bit over the past three decades

    Quote Originally Posted by davidbfpo View Post
    In the opening post I stated:

    Note the cited source was written In August 2009 as we reached:

    Comparisons are also made:

    Quote:
    ...a lower death rate than the conflict in Northern Ireland between 1969 and 1977, and obviously at a much lower rate than in the Falklands war where 250 British servicemen died in three months. (We tend to forget that the IRA killed 146 members of British security forces in 1972 alone..
    Link:http://www.spectator.co.uk/essays/al...s-of-war.thtml

    Perhaps here in the Uk care has dramatically changed, in hospitals and outside. As Scots say "I'ave me doubts".
    but those comparisons seem like apples and oranges to me. IRA snipers were in a good position to kill with precision whereas Taliban IEDs are in a good position to bring about loss of limb and sight and to cause brain damage via their shock waves. And I would assume that the length of the ISAF engagement has resulted in improvement of infrastructure and routinization conducive to a level of response not possible over the much shorter course of the Falklands War.

    It would be interesting to see a well-designed study investigating some of these issues. Does anyone know if there has been such an effort?
    If you don’t read the newspaper, you are uninformed; if you do read the newspaper, you are misinformed. – Mark Twain (attributed)

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    Council Member Red Rat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ganulv View Post
    but those comparisons seem like apples and oranges to me. IRA snipers were in a good position to kill with precision whereas Taliban IEDs are in a good position to bring about loss of limb and sight and to cause brain damage via their shock waves. And I would assume that the length of the ISAF engagement has resulted in improvement of infrastructure and routinization conducive to a level of response not possible over the much shorter course of the Falklands War.

    It would be interesting to see a well-designed study investigating some of these issues. Does anyone know if there has been such an effort?
    IRA snipers are mostly a misnomer, most shoots were at relatively close range. By far the most dangerous weapon in NI was the IED from the 1980s onwards.

    What has significantly improved survival rates in Afghanistan is the amount of protection afforded to the individual (body armour) and significantly improved treatment capabilities at every stage of the process. Units deploying to Afghanistan aim to have at least 1 in 2 (and preferably everyone) personnel trained as a team medic. Every patrol is accompagnied by a combat medical technician (mostly of paramedic grade) and in the event of a casualty our MEDEVAC and CASEVAC capabilities are significant. On arrival at hospital they are into one of the best truama centres in the world and from there can be dispatched to the best centre to cope with their particular injuries.

    In the Falklands our tolerance of risk was much greater, so less body armour and while the medical chain was world class for its time it was nothing like what we have now.

    The situation in AFG is very much more like that in N Ireland in terms of the development of medical TTPs and capabilities and attitude towards risk.
    RR

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    Quote Originally Posted by Red Rat View Post
    What has significantly improved survival rates in Afghanistan is the amount of protection afforded to the individual (body armour) and significantly improved treatment capabilities at every stage of the process. Units deploying to Afghanistan aim to have at least 1 in 2 (and preferably everyone) personnel trained as a team medic. Every patrol is accompagnied by a combat medical technician (mostly of paramedic grade) and in the event of a casualty our MEDEVAC and CASEVAC capabilities are significant. On arrival at hospital they are into one of the best truama centres in the world and from there can be dispatched to the best centre to cope with their particular injuries.

    In the Falklands our tolerance of risk was much greater, so less body armour and while the medical chain was world class for its time it was nothing like what we have now.

    The situation in AFG is very much more like that in N Ireland in terms of the development of medical TTPs and capabilities and attitude towards risk.
    I am glad the Brit army have (finally) got on top of their game in this regard. Back on 6 September 2006 Cpl Wright (later died of wounds) and Sgt Pearson (both of 3 Para) were injured in an unmarked Soviet minefield near Kajaki waited 3 and a half hours for CASEVAC and when it came it was from the US forces who winched their (brave beyond belief) medic down into the minefield to effect the CASEVAC. So the Brits have come a long way since.

    I remember being shocked at the time of the Falklands that compared to what we (RLI) had got to (after a steep learning curve from 1972-80) that the Brits were still virtually at the one first field dressing per man level. The South Africans were not much better I might add relying rather on a speedy CASEVAC system (but forgetting in the most serious cases it is the first minutes and seconds that count - that being one of the training problems of a conscript army where you need to squeeze as much operational time out of their service).
    Last edited by JMA; 07-14-2011 at 10:23 AM.

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