DoD U.S. Military Casualties in Afghanistan as of 30 December 2011

The war in Afghanistan is in its tenth year and the last three years have been the bloodiest since the war began.   According to icasualties.org, the number of casualties doubled from 2008 to 2009 from 155 U.S. deaths in 2008 to 319 in 2009.   2010 was by far the bloodiest year with 499 US casualties, while 2011 comes in as a close second.

The majority of coalition casualties have occurred in Kandahar and Helmand province, many of them inflicted by roadside bombs (improvised explosive devices).   Despite conclusive evidence that these casualties are being inflicted by the Taliban, the Administration is bound and determined that it will get out of Afghanistan as quickly as possible.    To this end Vice President Joe Biden has declared that the Taliban is not our enemy and yesterday it was revealed that the Administration is prepared to release Mohammed Fazl in a prisoner exchange.  The idea is to bet the Taliban to the peace table and get the heck out of Afghanistan as quickly as possible.   Does anyone really believe that the Taliban is not the enemy that would be prepared to power share with the Karzai Administration?  The potential hand-over of Mohammed Fazl, a ‘high-risk detainee’ held at the Guantanamo Bay military prison since early 2002, has set off alarms on Capitol Hill and among some U.S. intelligence officials.  Fazl is alleged to have served as the former Deputy Defense Minister of the Taliban.

Meanwhile during the past week North Korea has been mourning “Dear Leader” Kim Jong Il and his funeral took place after more than a week of mourning.  His son Kim Jong Un, who is 20 something, appears to have consolidated power and gave notice yesterday that there would be no change in North Korea and has issued a threat to South Korea.

The stakes have also been raised by Iran, which is currently conducting a naval exercise in the Strait of Hormuz.   The Iranian regime has threatened to close the Strait of Hormuz, stating that it would be as easy as drinking a glass of water.   The US Navy has issued a statement, which states that the closure of the Strait, which carries much of the world’s oil, would not be tolerated.

As the year comes to an end, the U.S. is once again within $100 Billion of the debt ceiling and the Administration will be looking for an increase of another $1.2 Trillion.  Obama has delayed the request for now, permitting Congress to mull over the increase.  Either way it will happen, bringing the total U.S. debt to $16 Trillion by election day.

This week two arms deals were announced.  84 F15 Fighter jets will be sold to Saudi Arabia in an arms deal worth $30 Billion.  Another Arms Deal with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) worth $3.48 Billion, involving as many as 96 missiles, has been reached.

While the announcement of the deal came yesterday, at a time of increased tension with Iran, Pentagon Press Secretary George Little said in a statement that the deal was inked on December 25 when the US and UAE signed a Letter of Offer and Acceptance (LOA) for a Foreign Military Sales-configured Terminal High Altitude Area Defence System, valued at approximately USD 3.48 billion. Zeenews.com

The GOP primaries are now coming down to crunch time with the Iowa caucauses on the agenda for Tuesday.   While it appears that Mitt Romney and Ron Paul lead the way, there could be some surprises.  Rick Santorum appears to have surged at the right time.  Look for some surprises.

As the year comes to a close, 2012 promises to be a politically charged year, with probably one of the dirtiest campaigns ever.   Obama will find it difficulty to run on his dismal economic record and will rely largely on demonizing his opposition and using the divide and conquer principle with class warfare.   Hopefully the electorate won’t be fooled again.   Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice shame on me.  With the deficit approached 97% of GDP, something has to give.

Meanwhile U.S. troops are still paying the ultimate price in Afghanistan.   NATO is preparing to draw down a good portion of the total troop strength as it hands over responsibility to Afghan Security Forces.  At the end of the year 1851 U.S. troops have died in Afghanistan and more than 15,000 have been wounded.  Coalition Forces have lost close to 1000 soldiers, with 394 from the UK and 158 from Canada.  Lest We Forget.

Below are this week’s updated DoD casualty figures:

Op Enduring Freedom           Total Deaths   KIA   Non Hostile        WIA

Afghanistan Only                                   1744               1464         280                   15157

Other Locations                                       104                    12             92

DoD Civ Casualties                                      3                       1              2

Worldwide Total                                     1851                1477        374                  15157

Accumulated 2011 Casualties:

KIA     Non Combat Deaths         WIA

365                         93                               5071

About the Author

Karl Gotthardt - Politisite Managing Editor Maj. Gotthardt is a Retired Military Officer with 35 years service in the Canadian Armed Forces. He spent most of his time in the Military in Infantry Battalions. Karl took part in training for Afghanistan as an Operator Analyst with the Canadian Maneouvre Training Centre. Karl is a qualified military parachutist and military free fall parachutist. He earned his U.S. Master Jump Wings in Fort Benning, Georgia. Karl enjoys working with horses for the last 24 year. He owns six. He has experience in breeding, training and of course riding.Karl was born in Germany and is fluent in both English and German and he speaks enough French to "get in trouble". Karl has written or writes at NowPublic, All Voices, Tek Journalism and many others.

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