Reason Roundup

U.S. Troops Were Harmed by Iranian Attack. (We Still Shouldn't Go to War With Iran.)

Plus: encryption battles, the Nordic equality myth, and more...

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U.S. troops were injured in Iranian missile attack. The Pentagon is now reporting that 11 members of the American military were harmed when Iran retaliated for the killing of Qassem Soleimani. They suffered concussions and were sent to hospitals in Kuwait and Germany to be screened for traumatic brain injury.

It was initially reported that the strike—on two Iraqi military bases that house U.S. troops—did not harm any Americans, though four Iraqi soldiers were wounded.

"No Americans were harmed in last night's attack by the Iranian regime," said President Donald Trump on January 8, the morning after the attack."We suffered no casualties—all our soldiers are safe and only minimal damage was sustained at our military bases."

That turns out to have been false.

"While no U.S. service members were killed in the Jan. 8 Iranian attack on Al Asad Air base, several were treated for concussion symptoms from the blast and are still being assessed," said Navy Capt. Bill Urban of U.S. Central Command in a January 16 statement. "As a standard procedure, all personnel in the vicinity of a blast are screened for traumatic brain injury, and if deemed appropriate, are transported to a higher level of care."

Unlike the Trump administration's claims about foiling an "imminent attack" (which grows more and more dubious by the day), there's nothing so far to suggest a deliberate discrepancy between Trump's initial assessment of harm and the Pentagon's new report. Alas, some people are taking it as a cue to call for war.


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"Minding the Nordic Inequality Gap." The Nordic countries are widely seen as feminist utopias. People are perpetually ranking Sweden, Norway, Denmark, and Finland as the best place for women and/or for gender equality, and a new survey from U.S. News & World Report finds this unchanged. But perception and reality differ. "Although Nordic nations lead the rest of the world in qualitative, perception-based metrics, the reality in many of these labor markets is that men often dominate management and STEM professions while women find themselves isolated to support roles," writes Andrew Soergel.

"Sweden is a very gendered labor market," Anneli Häyrén of Sweden's Centre for Gender Research at Uppsala University told U.S. News.


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