Speaking at a Veterans Day event at Arlington National Cemetery on Tuesday, US Vice President Joe Biden understated the number of US soldiers wounded in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars by 47,000.
“Every day for the last six years, I ask my staff early in the morning to contact the Department of Defense to get a detailed report of the number of troops deployed, the number wounded, and the number killed. Not a general number; the exact number every day,” Biden said at a ceremony to honor military veterans at the nation’s most renown resting place for service members who have passed.
“Because for every one of those warriors there’s an entire family, extended family, back in America that has bled or is bleeding.”
Possibly misreading his script, Biden went on to drop an important numeral from the number of wounded in Afghanistan and Iraq, America’s first- and third-longest foreign wars, respectively.
“As of this morning, US troops died in Iraq and Afghanistan: 6,703; troops wounded in Iraq or Afghanistan: 5,168.”
Biden was correct to say that 6,703 troops died in the post-9/11 wars, according to the US Department of Defense. But there have been 52,168 troops wounded in these wars, rather than 5,168.