Department of Defense figures, as of Friday January 20th, indicate that three US soldiers were killed in non hostile circumstances, while another 58 have been wounded in action (WIA). A NATO/US chopper crashed late last week and reports indicated that six U.S. Marines were killed in that crash. These six members do not appear in the DoD reporting system yet.
While soldiers are still being killed around the world and a war still going on in Afghanistan, the U.S. is in full election campaign mode. Two Republican Debates were featured this week, one on FOX News on Monday, while CNN hosted the latest debate on Thursday. Mitt Romney has had a difficult week, having
his wealth attacked and stumbling on the release of income tax question in both debates. Gingrich, who seems to be surging in South Carolina, has been upstaged by ABC News and CNN monitor John King. ABC News published an interview with Gingrich’s ex wife Marianne, where she accuses Gingrich of asking her for an open marriage. Gingrich blasted the media and appears to be
getting support from the South Carolina electorate.
South Carolina goes to the polls today in what appears to be a close race between Mitt Romney and New Gingrich. No doubt, all eyes will be on South Carolina today. The spin machines were working overtime yesterday, now the voters will speak.
Tension is still high in the Middle East with the antics of Iran, which has threatened to close the Strait of Hormuz. Much of the world’s oil supply moves through the Strait. The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs has been dispatched to Israel. There is grave concern by the Administration that Israel may act on its own.
With all the tension in the Middle East, the President is in full campaign mode and on Wednesday rejected the XL Keystone Pipeline, which would bring oil to the Gulf coast from Alberta, Canada. Needless to say Canada is disappointed and will try to diversify its oil exports. Canada realizes that it can no longer rely to the United States as a reliable partner to purchase its oil. Politics in the United States is too divisive and the Presidents ideological decision killed approximately 20,000 jobs, which Keystone would have created. The pipeline would have infused billions of dollars into the economy. Environmentalists dispute these job figures, but TransCanada has laid it out for each section of the pipeline, which would be build simultaneously.
While politicians, pundits and the media debate the outcome of the 2012 election, soldiers continue to serve in very dangerous places around the world, particularly in Afghanistan. Thousands of them will be trying to join the workforce only to be disappointed. Thousands suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). The figures of those killed in Afghanistan is slowly creeping to the 2,000 mark. Lest we forget.
Below are this week’s updated DoD casualty figures:
Op Enduring Freedom Total Deaths KIA Non Hostile WIA
Afghanistan Only 1761 1473 288 15258
Other Locations 102 12 90
DoD Civ Casualties 3 1 2
Worldwide Total 1866 1486 380 15262
Accumulated 2012 Casualties:
KIA Non Combat Deaths WIA
10 13 105