Saturday, 19 May 2012
DOD US Military Casualties in Afghanistan as of 18 May 2012
France's new socialist President Francois Hollande has given notice that French troops will depart Afghanistan by the end of 2012. There may be some flexibility to leave a contingent of French troops to help train Afghan Security Forces. Training an maintaining Afghanistan's forces is expected to cost $4.2 Billion, of which the United States is expected to cover $2Billion.
Also high on the G8 agenda will be the global economy, especially with the emphasis on Greece and its inability to form a government that can agree on much of anything. France rejected Nicolas Sarkozy, who was of common mind with Germany's Angela Merkel, electing a socialist, who wants less authority and more emphasis on growth with stimulus. It is no surprise that Hollande's first visit was to Berlin to visit the German chancellor.
Hollande also had a meeting with President Obama ahead of the Summit, where Afghanistan and the Eurozone debt crisis were discussed. President Obama and President Hollande, who both advocate stimulus, will likely pressure their more conservative counterparts, David Cameron of the UK, Angela Merkel of Germany and Stephen Harper of Canada to support more stimulus. Although the leaders will end up with a non-committal joint communique, there will be some friction involving the two opposing views.
The United States has its own problems with the debt ceiling approaching $16 Trillion and is facing another fight in Congress to raise the debt ceiling. The summit, which should have been a positive in an election year, with the news of an orderly withdrawal and and end of he war in Afghanistan, has the potential to be a detractor for President Obama's bid for re-election. The summit results will be managed with kid gloves.
On the good news front and perhaps a plus for U.S./Chinese relations, Chen Guangchen has left a Chinese hospital and is apparently on his way back to the United States later on today. He is in the process of getting a valid passport, which his wife and children have already been issued with.
The Afghanistan war is often skipped over by the main stream media, after all there is so much election 2012 fodder, ranging from Mitt Romney's alleged bullying 50 years ago, President Obama's association with Reverend Wright, all issues that don't deal with the real problems in the United States or the globe.
The sooner the media deals with the U.S. and global economic problems, concentrates on the way forward in Afghanistan and issues like Syria, Iran, North Korea and the Middle East, the sooner there might be solutions to solve the world's problems. Petty trash around on the sidelines does not deserve time and it shows disrespect to the soldiers that have so valiantly given their lives in a far away country.
Let's not forget that those soldiers are still confronting the enemy daily and take some time to think of their sacrifice. Lest We Forget.
Roll of Casualties
Below are this week’s updated DoD casualty figures:
Op Enduring Freedom Total Deaths KIA Non Hostile WIA
Afghanistan Only 1851 1534 317 15950
Other Locations 111 12 99
DoD Civ Casualties 3 1 2
Worldwide Total 1965 1547 418 15950
Accumulated 2012 Casualties:
KIA Non Combat Deaths WIA
82 49 722