Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Milestones

Sunset search
U.S. Army Pfc. Michael McKinney, a combat infantryman with the 1st Platoon, Delaware Company, Team Apache, 1st Battalion, 501st Infantry Regiment, Task Force 4-25, climbs a hill during a patrol to search for weapons caches outside Saparah, Khost province, Afghanistan, Aug. 1, 2012. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Kimberly Trumbull/Released)

According to the New York Times, Specialist James A. Justice of the Army who died at a military hospital in Germany was the 2000th U.S. military death in the Afghanistan war.

Nearly nine years passed before American forces reached their first 1,000 dead in the war. The second 1,000 came just 27 months later, a testament to the intensity of fighting prompted by President Obama’s decision to send 33,000 additional troops to Afghanistan in 2010, a policy known as the surge.

... According to the Times analysis, three out of four were white, 9 out of 10 were enlisted service members, and one out of two died in either Kandahar Province or Helmand Province in Taliban-dominated southern Afghanistan. Their average age was 26.

The dead were also disproportionately Marines... Though the Army over all has suffered more dead in the war, the Marine Corps, with fewer troops, has had a higher casualty rate: At the height of fighting in late 2010, 2 out of every 1,000 Marines in Afghanistan were dying, twice the rate of the Army. Marine units accounted for three of the five units hardest hit during the surge.

Another Times article does point out:

Among [Afghan] civilian dead, estimates typically reach well beyond 100,000, but a precise reckoning is unlikely to ever be known.

Meanwhile USA Today reported:

[U.S.] Soldiers killed themselves at a rate faster than one per day in July, the Army announced Thursday. There were 38 deaths either confirmed or suspected as suicides, the highest one-month tally in recent Army history, the service said.

What was this war for, anyway? Does anyone remember?

1 comment:

Classof65 said...

Supposedly Osama bin Laden trained terrorists in Afghanistan and planned the 9-11 Attack on the World Trade Center buildings in New York City -- at least I think that's why we originally put troops there, to find bin Laden and capture or kill him and to break up terrorist training camps. Somehow the Taliban and al Quaeda came into it and it just drags on and on. The thing is, with a war on terror, there is no point at which you can claim victory or even that it is over. It will never be "over." And, as soon as we leave, the Taliban and/or al Quaeda or some new group will simply take over. We ought to just start air-lifting out all the women and children who want to come here and get out of the country completely, then educate said women and children and let them go back if they wish to try to take back their own country...

I see where Iraq is already selling arms to Iran, military weapons we gave to the Iraqi Army. What a mess we've made of the world! And Romney continues to make war-like noises concerning Iran, but maybe that is only to secure Jewish campaign funds.

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