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              3 in 4 U.S. Military deaths unrelated to war

It seems that in the last decade or so, the U.S. military’s biggest enemies have
been accidents, substance abuse, illnesses, injuries and self-inflicted wounds
rather than an opposing military or terror force.   Since 2006, a total of 15,851
active-duty personnel and mobilized reservists have died in the United States
Armed Forces.    Seventy-two percent were in the category “Non-Overseas
Contingency Operations,” or “circumstances unrelated to war.”

The assessment was done because of “quality issues” with earlier data.             
It began with 2006, five years after the start of major combat operations in
Afghanistan and three years after the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq.   The report
said there were 4,599 personnel lost in accidents, including 652 related to
substance abuse; 3,258 from self-inflicted injury, including 135 related to
substance abuse; and 2,650 lost to illness and injury, with 14 related to
substance abuse.

About 11,341 service members died from noncombat events, about 920 per
year, in more than 70 countries and on the high seas.   The majority, however,
93 percent, happened in the United States.   Overall, alcohol or substance
abuse played a role in eight percent of all deaths.

A contingency operation is any DOD-designated military operation ‘in which
members of the armed forces are or may become involved in military actions,
operations, or hostilities against an enemy of the United States or against an
opposing military force.   Approximately 4,510 military personnel have died in
such operations since 2006 in more than 25 countries (and locations at sea).
Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) caused approximately half of all U.S.
deaths in operational war zones.