Long gone are the days when target practice for U.S. soldiers consisted of the use of OKC-3S Bayonets, Colt Dragoon Revolvers, and T-13 Beano Grenade drills. Over the years, military technology has incited a way for the United States’ Armed Forces to decrease the odds of our enemy’s victory and our country’s defeat as well as our fatality rates. While looking back on the analytical history of warfare involving the United States, one can easily see how American ex-militants could have benefited with the use of today’s advanced military technology.
The Korean War, held between 1950-1953, was statistically one of the worst wars for American soldier casualties with an estimated 37,000 deaths totaling at approximately 45 deaths per day; quite a number for such a short period of time. During this war, the United States Air Force experienced its first combat use of its jet aircraft, and also its first knowledge of just how flawed its employed aircraft was.
The F-86 Sabre jet series played a major role as being one of the main specialized fighter-bombers used by U.S. troops during the first half of this war. However, these sound barrier breaking jets could not outrun their MiG-15 adversaries with a maximum speed of only 1,100 miles per hour, were prone to experiencing engine overheating problems, and mechanical failures were often reported when discharging empty fuel tanks in an attempt to prevent aircraft explosions. Since then, the USAF has employed the Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor Fighter jet equipped with signals intelligence roles, electronic warfare, and can excel at speeds of more than 1,300 mph.
The Vietnam War between 1961-1975, another “ugly” war for the United States in terms of casualties, resulted in approximately 58,000 combat related deaths with an estimated death count of 26 deaths per day. The United States’ military forces entrusted heavily on the use of firepower superiority for their seek and destroy missions though some of the artillery used was prone to having mechanical failures while in use. Popular artillery rifles used during combat, such as the M16 rifles, were often known for malfunctioning upon firing and many soldiers believed the cleaning procedures for the rifle were too time consuming.
Replaced by the upgraded version named the M4 in 1997, the same problems eventually still ensued. Today’s replacement candidates include the XM25 Counter Defilade Target Engagement System with its ability to hit targets hiding behind barriers with its sophisticated laser technology and its impeccable ability to automatically calibrate its microchip-equipped rounds.
Overall, the advancement in today’s military technology could have reduced the amount of casualties suffered by U.S. troops if used in past wars and may dramatically reduce the amount of casualties as well as injuries in the future. The safe return of our U.S. troops should first priority when designing military weapons, and with advanced technology such as drones still surfacing, one can only hope one day U.S. combat casualties will dwindle down to nil.
©2013 Learus Ohnine