Air War Iraq
The US Air Force is increasing its ground attack capability in Iraq and anti-war groups don't like it.
The escalation worries some about an increase in "collateral damage," casualties among Iraqi civilians. Air Force generals worry about wear and tear on aging aircraft. But ground commanders clearly like what they see.
Statistics tell the story: Air Force and Navy aircraft dropped 437 bombs and missiles in Iraq in the first six months of 2007, a fivefold increase over the 86 used in the first half of 2006, and three times more than in the second half of 2006, according to Air Force data. In June, bombs dropped at a rate of more than five a day.
The statistics tell a story, but not in the way the antiwar crowd might admit. Compared to Vietnam, for example, the bomb tonnages dropped are almost incomprehensibly small. An Australian veteran's site reminds us of how large they were. More than 800 tons of bombs per day were dropped on North Vietnam alone for a period covering years.
1. The US flew 1,899,688 sorties and dropped 6,727,084 tons bombs on Indo China, compared with the 2,700,00 tons of bombs dropped on Germany during the Second World War
2. US conducted 124,532 B52 missions, expending 2,633,035 tons of ordnance
3. 18 B52s were lost to enemy action with 13 more lost in collisions and accidents 4. 3,750 Aircraft(Fixed Wing) were lost in Vietnam.
5. More than 8,000 US Airmen were killed
6. Approx. 12,000 helicopters saw service in Vietnam(all services)
7. 4865 Helicopters were downed by Communist ground fire at a cost of $250,000 ea.
When the Lancet claimed that hundreds of thousands of Iraqis had died and 15% of them to air strikes my first reaction was: 'not with the tonnages dropped'. No way at all.