Looking at reducing Iraqi casualties

Here are recent headlines about the military in Kansas:Fort Leavenworth(Boston Globe) Pentagon is pressed on killings of Iraqis: Of 500 claims for compensation filed by Iraqi families and released after an ACLU court action, 133 were allegedly killed for driving too close to a convoy, while 59 were allegedly killed at checkpoints. Those cases include allegations that US soldiers, on several occasions, shot at random from convoys, killing bystanders; a case in which soldiers allegedly fired 200 rounds into a car that did not stop soon enough at a checkpoint, killing two parents and injuring their two young children; and an allegation that US soldiers had fired on a car carrying a pregnant woman who was on her way to the hospital to give birth, killing her. In the vast majority of cases, soldiers were deemed to have acted within their rights to fire at the vehicles that they feared posed a threat. Soldiers were found negligent in only a tiny handful of cases. … “They are 19, 20 years old and we are asking them to make some pretty big decisions, and they are doing a great job,” said Colonel Kent Crossley, former chief of Analysis and Integration at the Center for Army Lessons Learned at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., who served multiple tours in Iraq. Crossley cochaired a conference earlier this year on how to rewrite the handbook on “escalation of force” procedures in a way that could reduce civilian deaths. He said the military was trying to give soldiers the tools to avoid such killings, including nonlethal tactics, and better, more visible signs which can be understood by Iraqis who do not speak English. “Just because you have the right to use lethal force, it doesn’t mean you should. That’s what we are trying to teach these soldiers,” he said.Fort Riley ¢ 1st Infantry Division(Kansas State Collegian) Soldiers learn combat life-saving skills in Ft. Riley course: One soldier hurries to wrap a tourniquet – one that will stop deadly blood loss – around the arm of a cloth dummy. Another inserts a plastic tube – one that will deliver life-saving breath – into the airway of a plastic head. Both are working quickly and efficiently, calmly announcing and explaining each task as they go. These soldiers are students in Fort Riley’s combat life-saving course. They are learning skills that will help them save fellow injured soldiers on the battlefield. “We want soldiers to understand how to do these things now, so that it becomes muscle memory,” said Sgt. Baldwin Fisher, class instructor. “That way when they get out there and things start happening, they know what to do automatically.”