Srebrenica Massacre (1995)

'Tender mercies' of MIA accounting [Commentary]

'Tender mercies' of MIA accounting [Commentary]

"Show me the manner in which a nation cares for its dead and I will show you with mathematical exactness the tender mercies of its people."

When 19th century British statesman W. E. Gladstone supposedly staked this claim, the world knew nothing of DNA testing or of the extraordinary lengths a country might go to care for its service members missing in action (MIA) and presumed dead.

If Gladstone could visit the Central Identification Laboratory at the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC), responsible for recovering, repatriating and identifying U.S. war dead from the past century's conflicts, he would likely recognize the tender mercies at hand in the...