A Red Letter Month, Praise Science
For the first time since the Iraqi War kicked off over (take your pick freedom/oil/money/revenge/money/political power), August 2011 was the first month that NO U.S. Soldier has died. Not that the bad guys have not been trying, VBIEDs, IEDs, and random mortars are still the name of the game. Personally I attribute this achievement to two things, work by the Iraqi Police to provide actual security for the populace by moving aggressively to find, fix, and capture / kill the legitimate terrorist that still plague Iraq at the cost of 100’s of lives and science.
I don’t want to underscore the sacrifices of the ISF, but science should get its due in this conflict.
Through research and development, the U.S. Army now employs powerful jammers, advanced biometric scanning, handheld x-ray and chemical explosive detectors, Unmanned Arial Vehicles, enhanced armor, and IED resistant vehicle designs just to name a handful.
The state of the Army when we started this party was that of an Army still hoping for a traditional war, rolling around in open-top unarmored Humvees with flak jackets. Now it’s completely different, we have learned, adapted, and overcome, though at great cost. But at least we are prepared for the unconventional style of warfare that I am certain will define the information age.
None of these achievements would have been possible in not for government funded research, for the U.S. can solve almost any problem if we set our minds to it and properly fund it. Now only imagine a world where we can unify our effort for something other than war.
So statistically speaking, I was safer here than back in the States.