Captain Michael C Braden - Division Headquarters and Headquarter Battalion, 1st Inf Div
Corporal Aaron M Faust - 2nd Battalion, 9th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Div, II MEF
Staff Sergeant David P Nowacyk - 2nd Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team 4th Infantry Division
Seargeant Tanner S Higgins - 1st Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment
Four others have not yet been identified Source: iCasualties.org
The LA Times, with its revelation of photos of US soldiers posing with dead Taliban suicide bombers, has contributed to bring the Afghanistan war to the forefront again. While the publication of the photos was ill advised and the request by the Pentagon not to publish them ignored, it highlighted that there is still an ugly war going on.
Meanwhile the US and Afghanistan are negotiating a Strategic Partnership Treaty, which would tie down the way ahead in Afghanistan after NATO troops withdraw in 2014. President Hamid Karzai demanded that the U.S. at the minimum commit to $2 Billion in writing, as part of the treaty. The total cost of supporting 352,000 Afghan Security Forces is pegged at $4.1 Billion. The U.S. contribution is expected to be just over $2 Billion.
NATO Ministers met in Brussels midweek to discuss, among other issues, Afghanistan, the European missile shield and the entry of Georgia into NATO. Russia is not impressed at yet another act by NATO to bring Georgia into the forefront. So much for the reset button. The meeting this week is a precursor of the Obama chaired summit to be held in Chicago next month.
Syria was front and centre in the United Nations yesterday, where two separate draft resolutions were circulated to its members, which would clear the way for 300 cease fire monitors. The UN is expected to vote on a Syria resolution today. Meanwhile the State Department has published a fact sheet on humanitarian aid reaching Syria and neighbouring countries. Within Syria the State Department estimates that there are approximately 30,000 displaced people, while approximately 62, 000 refugees are being harboured in neighbouring countries.
The United States is pursuing every avenue to get humanitarian relief to those affected by the violence in Syria and is engaged in focused diplomatic efforts to secure full and unfettered access for humanitarian organizations to reach those in need. The United States is providing an additional $8 million in humanitarian assistance to support the people of Syria, bringing the total amount of U.S. emergency aid to nearly $33 million to date for this crisis. Our assistance is through international and non-governmental humanitarian partners, including:
- $10.5 million to the World Food Program (WFP);
- $8.5 million to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR);
- $7.8 million to non-governmental organizations (NGOs);
- $3 million to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA); and
- $3 million to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). Read More Here
As the U.S. presidential race has moved into full campaign mode, there are still several very real problems around the world, including the ongoing war in Afghanistan. One can only hope that the UN is capable of resolving the crisis in Syria.
While there appears to be a race to the exit in Afghanistan, there is a need to keep Afghanistan safe and secure. Meanwhile NATO, Afghan soldiers and civilians are still dying daily. Lest We Forget
Below are this week’s updated DoD casualty figures:
Op Enduring Freedom Total Deaths KIA Non Hostile WIA
Afghanistan Only 1816 1510 306 15672
Other Locations 111 12 99
DoD Civ Casualties 3 1 2
Worldwide Total 1930 1523 407 15672
Accumulated 2012 Casualties:
KIA Non Combat Deaths WIA
56 37 494