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Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Operation Enduring Freedom: Not One More Life

 
 
Operation Enduring Freedom

United States Military Statistics

(Current to December 5, 2012)
 

Fatalities by Year and Month


YearJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecTotal
200100000000035412
20021012951301151149
2003471221324246148
200492338523457152
2005216184272151173399
20061177111189106107198
20070145811121418810116117
2008718517282022271613155
200915151361225455140591818317
2010303126203460655542505333499
2011252031463547377142311815418
201226161835402941391918161298

 

Wounded By Month


PeriodArmyNavyMarineAirForceTotal
Oct-200100000
Nov-200140026
Dec-20012001627
Jan-200220002
Feb-200210001
Mar-20023500944
Apr-200221003
May-200210001
Jun-200200000
Jul-200260006
Aug-200210001
Sep-200250005
Oct-200220103
Nov-200230003
Dec-200250005
Jan-200360006
Feb-200320013
Mar-200320013
Apr-2003800311
May-200370007
Jun-200301001
Jul-200370018
Aug-200390009
Sep-20031700017
Oct-200320002
Nov-20031900221
Dec-20031001011
Jan-20041204016
Feb-20041400115
Mar-200460039
Apr-200450308
May-20041821223
Jun-200419010029
Jul-20042002224
Aug-20041702019
Sep-20042901030
Oct-20041409023
Nov-2004902011
Dec-2004704011
Jan-200520114
Feb-200540004
Mar-2005901010
Apr-20051000111
May-20052703030
Jun-20052900332
Jul-200526010036
Aug-200538118057
Sep-20053204036
Oct-20051307121
Nov-2005702110
Dec-20051302217
Jan-200651118
Feb-200670007
Mar-20061101012
Apr-20061100112
May-20062421128
Jun-20064700350
Jul-20064700350
Aug-20064400145
Sep-20066400266
Oct-20065400458
Nov-20063711443
Dec-20062000222
Jan-20072100021
Feb-20071300215
Mar-20071901121
Apr-20075200153
May-20077301377
Jun-20077918088
Jul-20078014186
Aug-20078402086
Sep-200767210079
Oct-2007114221119
Nov-20075600965
Dec-20073710240
Jan-20081110012
Feb-20081205017
Mar-20084232047
Apr-20082813133
May-2008782210101
Jun-2008779530139
Jul-2008843340121
Aug-2008756373121
Sep-200864215485
Oct-200854214171
Nov-20082201225
Dec-20081606123
Jan-200937119259
Feb-20092402127
Mar-20094226050
Apr-20094105046
May-20091054155129
Jun-20091364332175
Jul-20092178985328
Aug-200929991044416
Sep-20092125933313
Oct-20091945725276
Nov-20091323484187
Dec-2009785505138
Jan-20101092549174
Feb-20101117982218
Mar-201013781764325
Apr-201013941465294
May-2010218151709412
Jun-2010289122363540
Jul-2010372152185610
Aug-2010319928012620
Sep-20104081016519602
Oct-2010340142287589
Nov-2010287920412512
Dec-2010196513712350
Jan-20111411312511290
Feb-20111295841219
Mar-201117951348326
Apr-2011244311012369
May-20114311213413590
Jun-2011456111727646
Jul-201149781028615
Aug-20115161310725661
Sep-2011515129612635
Oct-20113305775417
Nov-20111595987269
Dec-2011984582162
Jan-2012583560117
Feb-2012632348107
Mar-2012997552163
Apr-20121954328239
May-20123365518400
Jun-201241710502479
Jul-20123414254374
Aug-201234313614394
Sep-20121356258174
Total
12309
339
4630
396
17674



 
During the holiday season we must honor those who serve in the United States Armed Forces. We must be thankful to all the troops for performing their duty as Operation Enduring Freedom continues to rage in Afghanistan. We owe a deep debt of gratitude to these men and women.

Most of all, we must pause and reflect upon those who have paid the ultimate cost. Our relatives and friends continue to be wounded and killed in the war, yet the American press gives little recognition of the latest sacrifices of these brave troops. Not only is each statistic above a number, but also each number represents individuals who have lovingly touched so many lives. Too many have died while unselfishly defending our freedom.

I have the utmost respect for those who serve. These volunteers pledge to obey orders, leave their homes and families for foreign lands, and place their lives in jeopardy. Without question, these people are the best among us. No one else can equal their courage and commitment they exhibit. I wish I had the opportunity to thank each service member for everything they do. The best I can do is make a rather hollow generalization and say to all, “Thank you, and I love you. I hope you all return soon.”

Why Do Americans Fight?

That is a question filmmaker Sebastian Junger asked U.S. Combat soldiers in Afghanistan. He wanted to see what motivated soldiers to continue in battle, to face extreme danger, and to risk their lives in accomplishing their missions.He found most in the midst of war are not thinking about their country or their flag, but rather for each other.


“What I realized in the five months that I spent at this little outpost at the Korangal Valley in eastern Afghanistan -huge amount of combat, very isolated place – what I realized is that the guys were not fighting for flag and country,” Junger said. “They may have joined up for those sorts of reasons, but once they were there, they were fighting for each other and there was a completely kind of fraternal arrangement that had very little broad conceptual motivations behind it.”

According to Junger, not many American soldiers in Afghanistan take their time to reflect on why they are fighting this war, they are “just fightingit.”

“They did not debate why are we in Afghanistan very much,” he said. “It is like, well, 9/11, 3000 Americans were killed by attacks coming out of Afghanistan and we had to go to that country and fix it and find the people who killed our American brothers and sisters, and that is about the extent of their analysis.”

(Sebastian Junger,American Soldiers in Afghanistan Fight
Not for the Flag, But for Each Other,”May 26 2011)


"For Each Other"

The U.S. military is unmatched in the raw combat power it is capable of unleashing in a conflict, yet today's U.S. soldiers, much like the soldiers of the past, fight primarily “for each other.”Ideological reasons for fighting such as liberation, freedom, and democracy are definitely present. In fact, soldiers who fight are highly sophisticated – sophisticated enough to grasp all the moral concepts of war. This is most likely the result of the transformation of the Army from a fledgling all-volunteer experiment to a truly professional force.


Yet, the ideological reasons for fighting are secondary, even non-existent for many. Since World War II, studies have argued and conventional wisdom has claimed that soldiers fight for each other. Cohesion, or the bonds between soldiers, traditionally has been cited as the primary motivation for soldiers in combat.


(Thomas A. Kolditz, Raymond A. Millen, Terrrence M. Potter. “Why They Fight: Combat Motivation...” July 2003)

The true strength of America's military lies not in its hardware or high-tech equipment, but in its soldiers. Today's soldiers trust each other; they trust their leaders; they trust the Army. They fight for each other – this ideology and the transformation of the U.S. Army from a demoralized draft army, to a struggling all-volunteer force, to a truly professional Army makes the U.S. Soldier the best in the world.




My Take

If it were in my power, I would withdraw the armed forces from Afghanistan and end Operation Enduring Freedom immediately. I do not want even one more wound or one more death to result from the war. I hate we are staying there until the projected withdrawal of 2014. I understand “peace with honor” and “the need for stabilization of a new government,” and “the assurance that no soldier died in vain,” but I also understand that our troops must be protected fully, not left to trust Afghans they train as their eventual replacements. I think we must do everything possible to protect our armed forces that remain in Afghanistan, and, to me, that means having enough American troops there to protect each other until the withdrawal.

I believe in the “for each other” mindset of our military personnel. I do not believe in American governmental policies with that same resolve. It is time to end wars fueled by money, politicians, and expansionist theory. When I consider the good men and women who lost their lives in Vietnam, the overseas struggle of my younger days, and I think about the positive impact they would have had on American society if they had returned, I get sick.

Now, we have lost far too many people in Iraq and Afghanistan. As the“best of us” continue to become disabled and die in these bloody campaigns, we have to consider the sacrifices and evaluate the gains for our involvement. I would not give one more life for the ideology being applied. Our Commander in Chief must put utmost effort into protecting these men and women. They deserve it.

God bless our brave troops. As the holidays approach let's consider their service and spend time praying for their safe return – the return of all of them.


The War Works Hard

by Dunya Mikhail
translated by Elizabeth Winsl


How magnificent the war is!

How eager

and efficient!

Early in the morning

it wakes up the sirens

and dispatches ambulances

to various places

swings corpses through the air

rolls stretchers to the wounded

summons rain

from the eyes of mothers

digs into the earth

dislodging many things

from under the ruins...

Some are lifeless and glistening

others are pale and still throbbing...

It produces the most questions

in the minds of children

entertains the gods

by shooting fireworks and missiles

into the sky

sows mines in the fields

and reaps punctures and blisters

urges families to emigrate

stands beside the clergymen

as they curse the devil

(poor devil, he remains

with one hand in the searing fire)...

The war continues working, day and night.

It inspires tyrants

to deliver long speeches

awards medals to generals

and themes to poets

it contributes to the industry

of artificial limbs

provides food for flies

adds pages to the history books

achieves equality

between killer and killed

teaches lovers to write letters

accustoms young women to waiting

fills the newspapers

with articles and pictures

builds new houses

for the orphans

invigorates the coffin makers

gives grave diggers

a pat on the back

and paints a smile on the leader's face.

It works with unparalleled diligence!

Yet no one gives it

a word of praise.
 
 
 
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