Document of the day: losses from friendly fire can be reduced

The Office of Technology Assessment, like any successful organization, used regular self-evaluation to ensure that Congress got the most out of OTA reports. In response to suggestions from members of Congress and Hill staff, OTA created report briefs. These two to four page documents summarized the main points of a full report in simple, direct language. Today’s document is one of those report briefs, “The tragic loss of life from ‘friendly fire’ can be reduced”. It beings as follows:

The disturbing incidents of ‘friendly fire’ deaths suffered by the United States and its allies in the Persian Gulf War focused new attention on an old problem. U.S. forces shooting at their own units caused 24 percent of U.S. combat deaths in the war. The fraction of losses due to friendly fire, or fratricide, seemed extraordinarily high and caused considerable public concern and international friction. The OTA report, Who Goes There: Friend or Foe?, explores the causes of friendly fire and some of the remedies that might be found in new technology, training, and doctrine.

Click here to read the full 1993 OTA report, “Who goes there: friend or foe?”

More report briefs will be posted on this page in the coming days.