Amputations Soared Among US Troops in 2011

Once again bringing into question administration claims that the US is making progress overseas, new data from the Pentagon show a 20% increase in amputations among US troops in 2011 over the previous year. The 240 cases of deployed troops losing at least one arm or leg is the highest since the 9/11 attacks.

US Marines were more than half of the cases, reflecting their increased deployment on the ground in Afghanistan, where IED attacks continue to be a major source of casualties.

The Pentagon, as ever, tried to put a silver lining on the amputation cloud, saying that the number of soldiers losing limbs reflected improvements in medical treatment on the battlefield that made this “the most survivable war in the history of combat.”

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.