The Price of Protection

Waging war has become more and more expensive, with current budget requests bringing the cost of operations in Iraq and Afghanistan to nearly $800 billion since 2001. Also rising is the cost of equipping America's soldiers. This week, a measure to spend $50 billion more on the Iraq war through March is likely to come up for a vote in the House. According to the Defense Manpower Data Center, modern equipment for today's soldiers is almost 10 times as expensive as it was during World War II, adjusted for inflation. But the difference in protective wear - and in the way the United States fights wars - is part of a dramatic improvement in safety: Combat deaths have dropped from 2,086 per 100,000 soldiers in WWII to 310 per 100,000 soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan, a current rate of about one-third of a percent.

The Price of Protection

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