Saturday, 19 May 2012

DOD US Military Casualties in Afghanistan as of 18 May 2012

With the NATO and G8 Summits underway in Camp David and the windy city underway this weekend, another six U.S. soldiers have paid the ultimate price in Afghanistan.  High on the priority this weekend will be the future of Afghanistan and the recently signed Strategic Partnership Agreement on Afghanistan.

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

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