Another month has passed in the War on Terror in Afghanistan and another seven U.S. soldiers have paid the ultimate price. Six were killed in action, while one was due to what is called other causes. This week another 77 soldiers were wounded in action (WIA).
Meanwhile preparations are underway in Iraq to move U.S. military equipment back to the United States. President Obama announced that the war in Iraq is over and those soldiers, approximately 44,000, would be home by the holidays. The casualty toll for Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation New Dawn is has been high with 4485 total deaths in Iraq. 32,219 have been wounded. There is still major concern in Iraq that the Baath party may try to topple the government.
After the capture of Muammed Gaddafi the Libyan National Transitional Council (NTC) has declared Libya liberated, but has also requested that NATO continue the “no fly zone” until the end of the year. The United Nations, however, ended the mandate unanimously this week and NATO declared that it would end the mission on October 31st. There were fears by the NTC that without NATO support Gaddafi loyalist may attempt to retake power.
In political news, President Obama and the First Lady are campaigning for re-election and the President has rolled out a series of executive actions under the banner “We can’t wait for Congress”. The White house touts that these actions will create jobs. There was moderate growth in the U.S. economy of 2.5%, but the job rate remained unchanged at 9.1%.
Operation Fast and Furious continues to remain in the headlines and Attorney General Eric Holder has agreed to testify again. Meanwhile Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano took flag for apparently not discussing the gun running operation with Eric Holder, even after one of her border agents was killed with a weapon linked to the operation. Hillary Clinton claimed that she learned of the operation in the press. There seems to be selective memory in the Administration or total incompetence. This week the White House also announced that an investigation had been ordered into the Solyndra debacle.
No clear frontrunner has emerged in the GOP candidate field, although Herman Cain is leading most polls by 4 points over Mitt Romney. Herman Cain’s simple approach and 9-9-9 tax plan seems to be resonating with voters. His smoking add made the headlines this week. Of course because of the smoking controversy, the ad gets free play everywhere. Cain’s apparent front runner status, although in a statistical tie, has made him a target in the Liberal press.
The Occupy Wall Street Movement has turned violent this week, especially in Oakland, where the mayor apologized to the movement, throwing her police department under bus. Moveon.org is featuring an ad to stop police brutality.
European have reached a deal that, for the moment, has eased fears of investors, to prevent a default by Greece, Italy, Spain and Portugal. German Chancellor Angela Merkel convinced the German Bundestag to support her plan and then went on to sell it to her European partners. If it resolves the crisis remains to be seen.
Afghanistan still continues to be a dangerous place and US soldiers pay the price daily. Take a moment this week to remember our heroes. Even if the main stream media keeps Afghanistan out of the headlines, the battle continues daily. Lest we forget.
Op Enduring Freedom Total Deaths KIA Non Hostile WIA
Afghanistan Only 1707 1425 282 14611
Other Locations 102 12 90
DoD Civ Casualties 3 1 2
Worldwide Total 1812 1438 374 14611
Accumulated 2011 Casualties
KIA Non Combat Deaths WIA
328 81 4495