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February 21, 1996

Military Medicine Offers Support on Land, Sea, and in the Air for US Bosnia Peace Enforcers

JAMA. 1996;275(7):507. doi:10.1001/jama.1996.03530310011004

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MEDICAL SUPPORT is available by air, land, and sea for the Operation Joint Endeavor implementation force that is seeking to enforce a cease-fire in the former Yugoslavia.

Together, the former republics of Yugoslavia are about the size of Wyoming, bordering the Adriatic Sea, Italy, Austria, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Greece, and Albania. Bosnia-Herzegovina, where North Atlantic Treaty Organization peace enforcers are at work, is slightly larger than Tennessee, earthquake-prone, and primarily mountainous.

In addition to thousands of land mines, poisonous snakes and arachnids, upper respiratory tract infections, environmentally related diseases, and food-, water-, or insect-borne disorders (JAMA. 1994; 272:337-340), US troops are encountering work-associated and cold, wet weather—associated injuries. Lurking always in the background is the threat of violence—"unpredictable in this setting," as a US Army Medical Command booklet puts it—from one or another of the parties who have been warring for most of this decade.

When a US military member