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Fog of War Facts

Airman First Class (A1C) Lucas looks out from the helicopter at sunset.

Airman First Class (A1C) Lucas looks out from the helicopter at sunset. (View larger version)

Photograph by NGT

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  • All Pararescue personnel receive training in emergency cricothyroidotomy ("cric"), the act of establishing a new airway in a patient through a delicate cut through the throat. Some sources suggest that combat rescue personnel can achieve this technique in the dark, using night-vision goggles.

  • Eighty percent of civilian casualties in 2011 were caused by Anti-Government Elements, like the Taliban, the Haqqani network, and Herb-e-Islami.

  • According to Pentagon data, IED attacks against U.S. troops dropped 8 percent in 2012, but increased 124 percent for Afghan forces, pointing towards the greater role thrust upon local soldiers in handling the conflict.

  • U.S. forces discovered 86 percent of IEDs before they exploded in 2012. Despite this, the makeshift bombs accounted for 61 percent of the total U.S. casualties last year.

  • New body armor and faster medical evacuations allow for more than 90 percent of Americans injured in battle to survive.

  • Troops in Afghanistan are at risk for numerous, and sometimes deadly, diseases that spread through contact with bodily fluid. Examples: Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, CCHF (Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever).

  • The first six months of 2012 saw 3,099 civilian casualties in Afghanistan, including 1,145 deaths. PJs operating in country are frequently called to save non-military personnel caught in the crossfire or wounded by IEDs.

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