David Brown for the Washington Post reports on land-mine injuries suffered by U.S. troops in Afghanistan.
Doctors and nurses treating soldiers injured in Afghanistan have begun speaking of a new “signature wound” — two legs blown off at the knee or higher, accompanied by damage to the genitals and pelvic injuries. . . . Of the 142 soldiers with genitourinary wounds who arrived at Landstuhl [Germany, site of U.S. military hospital] last year. . . . 47 had injury to one testicle, and 21 men lost a testicle. Eleven soldiers had injuries to both testicles, and eight lost both testicles.
Twice as many U.S. soldiers wounded in battle last year required limb amputations than in either of the two previous years. . . . and nearly three times as many suffered severe wounds to their genitals.
Why the increase?
Although the U.S. Army Medical Command released the data on genital injuries, military officials are reluctant to discuss these wounds further.
Why not? According to Maj. Gen. Stephen R. Lanza, chief of Army Public Affairs, “detailed discussion . . . can potentially provide insights to our enemies into the effectiveness of their improvised explosive devices and other weapons they use.”
What kind of insights is the Army afraid that the Taliban might glean from information about the injuries? Let’s take a guess: figuring out exactly how much explosives and of what variety to ensure the majority of victims lose both testicles.
What about body armor? Brown reports:
Body armor, which has greatly reduced fatalities, usually includes a triangular flap that protects the groin from projectiles coming from the front. It doesn’t protect the area between the legs from direct upward blast.
Odd oversight, isn’t it? Brown again.
Various laboratories are reportedly working on forms of shielding that would provide such protection.
Doesn’t this remind you of the early years of the Iraq War when Hummers were insufficiently protected with armor plating? Meanwhile, Americans need to ask themselves if they really want their troops in a conflict where not only do our young men need to concern themselves with being injured and killed, but with an enemy that may be all too eager to calibrate its mines for maximum castrating effect.