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    Default In Iraq, youngest US troops bore the heaviest toll

    In Iraq, youngest US troops bore the heaviest toll

    Stars and Stripes Published: August 20, 2011

    Nearly one-third of U.S. troops killed in Iraq were age 18 to 21, according to The Associated Press. Well over half of those were in the lower enlisted ranks, the AP reported.

    The U.S. effort in Iraq has gone from near calamity to a surprising amount of success. Remaining U.S. troops are now packing to leave, possibly for good, and casualties and costs will be tallied one last time.

    According to the Pentagon's plan, the war was supposed to be over by the summer of 2003. But while Baghdad had fallen swiftly, a more menacing phase of conflict was beginning. An insurgency was in the making, and in its formative months it perplexed U.S. commanders.

    Before he retired in June, former Defense Secretary Robert Gates said he measures the cost "in lives that are shattered, in bodies that are shattered, in minds that are shattered."

    What remains to be seen is a firm judgment on the net benefit of the American sacrifice, the more than 4,400 dead, the tens of thousands injured and the untold numbers suffering unseen psychological wounds for years to come, the AP reported.



    http://www.stripes.com/in-iraq-young...-toll-1.152697
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