U.S. War History
In last months issue I included an article about the founding fathers of the United States of America. During my Internet wanderings I found the following information. This shows a brief overview of the continuing cost of duty and the quest for freedom.
STATISTICAL SUMMARY OF AMERICA'S MAJOR WARS
THE MILITARY PARTICIPATION RATIO
The military participation ratio is the percentage of people under arms. While the ratio for the Second World War seems surprisingly high compared with those for the Revolutionary War and the Civil War, this is due to the fact that the War for Independence took place before the Industrial Revolution, and the Civil War occurred before its fullest impact, while the nation's woman power was not tapped in either earlier conflict as well, for either military or economic mobilization.
The figure "Enrolled" represents the number of personnel maintained in the service. It is somewhat unreliable, since it includes multiple enlistments in the case of wars prior to 1900, and is a gross figure, including all personnel ever in the service during the conflict. In addition, figures for post-1945 wars are polluted to some extent by the fact that a significant portion of the forces under arms during these conflicts were not actually directly engaged in the war, but were securing the nation's other global commitments.
Combat deaths refer to troops killed in action or dead of wounds. Other includes deaths from disease, privation, and accidents, and includes losses among prisoners of war. Wounded excludes those who died of their wounds, who are included under Combat Deaths. Note that the wounded figures do not include cases of disease.
Note that the figures are for direct costs only, omitting pension costs, which tended to triple the ultimate outlays. The table also omits the cost of damage to the national infrastructure during those wars waged on American soil. Confederate figures are estimated.
For the Gulf War it is worth noting that various members of the allied coalition reimbursed the U.S. for 88-percent ($54 billion) of the amount shown, so the actual cost to the taxpayer was only about $7 billion, roughly the same as for the Spanish-American War, and on a per capita basis only $26.92, arguably the least expensive war in the nation's history. On the other hand, only one country has ever repaid its WWII lend-lease war debts to the US. - Finland
Sources: "Principal Wars in which the US Participated: US Military Personnel Serving and Casualties" prepared by Washington Headquarters Services, Directorate for Information Operations and Reports. US Department of Defense Records.
OTHER CONFLICTS NOT COVERED ABOVE
Just looking at numbers does not really do justice to what they really represent.
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