Saturday, 14 April 2012
DoD U.S. Military Casualties In Afghanistan as of 13 Apr 2012
Another six US soldiers were killed in Afghanistan this past week. Five were killed in action (KIA), while one was killed in support of Afghan operation for other causes. 34 US soldiers were wounded in action (WIA).
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton chaired a meeting this week with leaders of the G8, discussing the way ahead in Afghanistan. The G8 ministers reaffirmed their commitment for the long ranging engagement in Afghanistan. The leaders reaffirmed their strong commitment to Afghanistan’s sovereignty and national unity. They urged Afghan President Hamid Karzai to combat corruption and work on improving governance. More Here
G8 and NATO leaders in co-operation with the Afghan government have commenced the transition of passing the responsibility of security in Afghanistan to the Karzai government and the intention is to withdraw the majority of NATO troops by the end of 2014. During a meeting in May, the scope and size of NATO involvement past 2014 is to be edged in stone. As it stands now, there will be at least ten years of foreign engagement in Afghanistan after NATO troops depart. Afghanistan's economy relies mostly on foreign funding.
In US politics, the GOP Primary is winding down and Mitt Romney is now all but confirmed to be the Republican nominee that will face incumbent President Barrack Obama. The President's campaign is in full stride now and during recent weeks efforts have been made to counter the Republicans with a war on women, which this week included the latest flare up, when Hilary Rosen, on a cable network, made the statement that Ann Romney had never worked a day in her life. Rosen is a well known Democratic Party operative. Ann Romney, wife of Mitt Romney, is a mother of five, stay at home mom, who has survived MS and breast cancer. Needless to say Rosen's statement created fireworks, not only from the Romney campaign, but also the White House and Obama campaign. A FOX News poll and Rasmussen poll suggest that the Rosen faux pas has hurt the Democrats. Romney and Obama are now in a statistical tie when it comes to support by women.
The President kept pushing the Buffett plan this week. The plan effectively doubles the capital gains tax, which according to the 2011 tax return return, released by the President yesterday, Obama doesn't qualify for. The scheme or gimmick would do nothing to pay down the deficit, but it is an attractive issue to create a wedge between the rich and the middle class. Meanwhile Obama used a tax break, which permitted him and the First Lady to deduct $48,000, as a gift to his daughters, to avoid higher taxes. While legal, it is definitely a head scratcher for one who professes the rich should pay more.
While it is clear that the contest between President Obama and Mitt Romney will, no doubt, be full of nastiness, it would be prudent for both campaigns to focus on the things that matter to Americans, the economy, health care and jobs.
North Korea, had an unsuccessful long range rocket launch this week, which was condemned by the world community. In Syria the situation is still fragile and the global community is keeping a close eye on the situation. How long will the cease fire hold? Iran continues to be in the news for its nuclear program and talks with the US are scheduled to be held. Expect a lot more uncertainty before all these problems are resolved one way or the other.
President Obama and Prime Minister Stephen Harper are currently in Columbia attending the Summit of the Americas. While both Obama and Harper profess that they are trying to get some business opportunities and jobs for their respective countries, the issue of permitting Cuba into the organization will also be discussed. How will that be received?
There are still many trouble spots in the world that beg resolution. As the war in Afghanistan goes through its transition there are still soldiers paying the with their life. Take a moment this week and reflect on these soldiers. Lest We Forget.
Below are this week’s updated DoD casualty figures:
Op Enduring Freedom Total Deaths KIA Non Hostile WIA
Afghanistan Only 1810 1504 306 15594
Other Locations 112 13 99
DoD Civ Casualties 3 1 2
Worldwide Total 1925 1518 406 15594
Accumulated 2012 Casualties:
KIA Non Combat Deaths WIA
50 38 416
Casualty.org List of Casualties