Journalism in the Public Interest


Lost to History: Missing War Records Complicate Benefit Claims by Iraq, Afghanistan Veterans

Field records from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, needed to document combat injuries, disability claims and the simple history of both wars, were never kept, were destroyed or simply cannot be found, a ProPublica-Seattle Times investigation has found.

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Robin Atwell

Nov. 25, 2012, 10:47 a.m.

OK, it now appears there were three lessons learned by the Pentagon bureaucracy from the Vietnam War when fighting the next war:

(1) Use a volunteer force, not draftees.

(2) Keep reporters embedded with US units to control their access.

(3) Destroy records.

Well, maybe there is another one: Kill suspects rather than take them prisoner.  That is learning from Stalin, who reportedly said: “no man, no problem.”

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This article is part of an ongoing investigation:
Lost to History

Lost to History: When War Records Go Missing

U.S. Centcom and dozens of Army units destroyed or failed to keep field records documenting the fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan.

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