Academic journal article Military Review

The Importance of Maintaining Field Records

Academic journal article Military Review

The Importance of Maintaining Field Records

Article excerpt

A ProPublica-Seattle Times investigative report indicates that field records from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were lost, destroyed, or never maintained in the first place. Authors Peter Sleeth and Hal Bernton discuss this critical shortcoming and detail its ramifications in "Lost to History: Missing War Records Complicate Benefit Claims by Iraq, Afghanistan Veterans."

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

The authors write, "Since the 1990 Gulf War, a failure to create and maintain the types of field records that have documented American conflicts since the Revolutionary War [has plagued the U.S. military]. ... The recordkeeping breakdown was especially acute in the early years of the Iraq war, when insurgents deployed improvised bombs with devastating effects on U.S. soldiers. The military has also lost or destroyed records from Afghanistan, according to officials and previously undisclosed documents. The loss of field records--after-action write-ups, intelligence reports and other day-to-day accounts from the war zones--has far-reaching implications. It has complicated efforts by soldiers... to claim benefits. And it makes it harder for military strategists to learn the lessons from Iraq and Afghanistan, two of the nation's most protracted wars. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.