Thursday, July 15, 2010

June deadliest month for American troops in Afghanistan as six more are killed yesterday

Last month, 60 American troopers were killed. The numbers this month continue to climb, and yesterday, six more American service people were killed near Kandahar in southern Afghanistan.

Luiz Martinez for ABC News further reports the staggering number of wounded the Americans have suffered in Afghanstan during the past two years.
  • In 2009, the total reached 2,139,  a three-fold increase over the previous year. 
  • In the first six months of 2010, four times as many American service members were wounded as were wounded in the same time frame a year ago: that is 1,922 American service members have been wounded  in 2010 compared to 485 wounded through the same time period last year.
Canadians sympathize with our American friends at the same time as we offer support for all our coalition troops fighting in Afghanistan in a war that doubles the total number of years the Allies fought World War II. That war was won from the air. Then, the Allies levelled the major cities of Germany with no consideration for civilians on the ground. With today's sensitivities about civilian colateral damage, carpet bombing is shunned, and boots on the ground are handed the task of beating the Taliban. Realistically, can we expect our forces to do the job they're expected to do?

Coalition chief commanders in theatre have warned the folks back home to expect a much deadlier summer of fighting in southern Afghanistan as the Taliban's forces mount in number at the same time as they lay increasing and more sophisticated roadside bombs. No road and no path is safe for anyone to walk or ride, whether NATO troops or local villagers. 

Once, the goal was to destroy all Al Qaeda bases, so they would have no place left to launch their jihads against the West. When that didn't succeed, NATO's goal switched to rid the Afghans of the Taliban bullies who robbed them of their independence and their ability to develop an economy that can bring the Afghan people into a modern way of life, such as Viet Nam now enjoys. By making the Afghan people our friends, we can leave it to them to refuse support of Al Qaeda and to keep these terrorists and their training camps out of Afghanistan. That's the gist for winning the hearts and minds of the Afghans.

After ten years in Afghanistan, can we say this is a realistic goal for NATO troops to pursue? Right now, it doesn't look like it.

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