Monday, December 01, 2008
Report on the American War Dead in Afghanistan and Iraq
In Iraq, only one American was killed by an IED and three were killed by small arms (all by soldiers at least in the uniform of Iraq's Armed Services). One was killed in combat operations. That's five lost in combat. Five! Four died from non combat causes, five in accidents; and one report was so unclear it was impossible to tell what happened.
In Afghanistan, one was killed by IED and one in combat operations. That's it. Two! There is apparently no dreaded late Fall Taliban offensive.
No warriors with feminine first names were killed and only two officers died: 1st Lt. William Jernigan, 35 from Doraville, GA, from non combat causes and Capt. Warren Frank, 26 from Cincinnati, OH from combat operations.
I am very happy to report the overwhelming success Iraq has been since we changed tactics. We can now agree to a date certain to have our troops end active combat and then leave because we've already won the war in Iraq, defeated al Qaeda in Mesopotamia, avoided a civil war--just plain won. Great news. Things are less rosy in Afghanistan but Afghanistan is uniquely a problem from history and will probably never be a kite flying paradise no matter what we or they do. I believe a surge change in tactics could put things on at least a better track if we implement it. Pakistan fighting hard against the Taliban and al Qaeda in the ungovernable border provinces could help a lot as well.
In Iraq, we defeated an enemy, AQM, that did not exist in that country before we invaded it. Notwithstanding our efforts, not a day goes by without a news item regarding Muslimn on Muslim violence, usually in the form of suicide bombings which are more and more frewquently perpetrated by women. What to they get? The Chippendale Review? 78 Russell Crowes? 78 thirty year old Omar Sharifs?
"We...avoided a civil war" for the time being. What will happen when the U.S. withdraws from the cities pursuant to treaty. What will happen when we withdraw completely? Do you think that centuries of sectarian, ethnic, and tribal strife will turn into that painting where the lion lies down with the lamb?
I tend to agree with eregrading Afghanistan. I agree that Pakistan, which by some accounts is 1/3 outside the control of its government would help but that country may be hanging on by a thread.
I only hope we are not experiencing the calm before the storm.
Technically true but only because it changed its name after the invasion.
I'm more worried that Pakistan will stop even trying to close the sanctuaries, because it has its hands full with India demanding satisfaction, than I am with Iraq suddenly going south. Who knows the far future, but for now, we've won and we can soon stand down and then leave in victory. I didn't look like that was possible even as late as two years ago.
Give us this little bit of unmitigated good news, at least.
I can't go w/ yuou on the name change only theory. AQM, vermin that they are or were, rushed to occupy a vacuum created by the removal of the chief predator.