Doug Westerman of the Centre for Research on Globalization writes in Depleted Uranium – Far Worse Than 9/11:

Just 467 US personnel were wounded in the three-week Persian Gulf War in 1990-1991. Out of 580,400 soldiers who served in Gulf War I, 11,000 are dead, and by 2000 there were 325,000 on permanent medical disability. This astounding number of disabled vets means that a decade later, 56 percent of those soldiers who served in the first Gulf War now have medical problems.

Is that true? Did more than half of those soldiers got the status of a permanent medical disability by 2000?

  • Note that the original claim appears to set up a false equivalence; even if all those vets are disabled, depleted uranium may be completely unrelated. It's like they expect those vets to never do anything ever again....? Instead of doing things like acting as the veteran base for the war in Afghanistan? Note that the site claims DU poisoning from precision bombing in Afghanistan, but the current use appears to be only AT penetrators, and the pre-2000 munition list didn't include precision munitions. Commented Nov 20, 2015 at 13:56

1 Answer 1



On 15 August 2004 Christopher Bollyn posted:

Statistics published in Encyclopedia Britannica’s 2003 Almanac indicate that 325,000 Gulf War vets were receiving compensation for service-related disabilities in 2000. The almanac lists 580,400 combatants in the Persian Gulf War of 1990-91, yet only 467 U.S. personnel were actually wounded during the conflict. The 325,000 disabled Gulf War vets are equivalent to 56 percent of the number of military personnel “serving in the theater of operation.”

On 18 August 2004 the San Francisco Bay View published the version in the question, with the Britannica source omitted, the word "permanent" added, and making the 325,000 sound more associated with the 580,400 number.

According to the US department of veteran's affairs:

More than 650,000 Service members served in Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm from August 2, 1990 to July 31, 1991. For VA benefits eligibility purposes, the Gulf War period is still in effect. This means that anyone who served on active duty from August 2, 1990, to present is considered a Gulf War Veteran. For example, the Veterans Pension benefit requires service during a wartime period. Therefore, any Veteran who served on active military service for any period from August 2, 1990, to the present meets the wartime service requirement. (Emphasis added.)

In any case, correct statistics are as follows taken from Gulf War Era Veterans Report: Pre-9/11 at page 56:

Out of 581,683 US military who participated in operation Desert Storm, as of FY2009:

9,441 were dead
165,113 were receiving some form of disability compensation

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