Medical Advances of the World Wars
Throughout the history of warfare, military leaders have recognized the potentially devastating consequences of ailing armies. Outbreaks of disease among the ranks have contributed to the collapse of empires and the falls of dynasties. Even today, we are just one mutation away from catastrophic consequences that would literally reshape the world as we know it. While it is true that the World Wars underscore the capacity of armed conflict among world powers to spread disease on a global scale, they also highlight the medical advances that often accompany modern warfare. Herein, we reflect upon the role of the World Wars in establishing a trajectory for modern medicine and posit an organizational role for our armed forces as a platform of cooperation in global public health.
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