Go to HHH home page.
Smart Politics
 


U.S. Military Fatalities in Afghanistan on Record Pace in 2009

Bookmark and Share

Although Barack Obama only devoted 2 of the 280 sentences in his late February Address before a Joint Session of Congress on the War in Afghanistan, the U.S. attempt to bring greater stability to a historically unstable region of the world is starting to once again take center stage in American foreign policy.

On February 17, just one week prior to his Address, Obama approved sending approximately 17,000 more U.S. troops to Afghanistan - beefing up American forces in the country by 57 percent, from 30,000 to just shy of 50,000.

Operation Enduring Freedom is proving to be the war that will not end - U.S. military fatalities are now on record pace in 2009, in the 9th year of the military campaign. If the current pace is maintained, 2009 will mark the third consecutive year of increasing levels of U.S. troop deaths in Afghanistan.

According to iCasualties.org, 98 U.S. troops died in 2006, followed by 117 in 2007, and 155 in 2008.

Thirty-six American military personnel have died in 2009 thus far - which puts the war in Afghanistan on a record-setting pace of 175 U.S. troop fatalities for the year, or an increase of 13 percent from 2008. Four U.S. soldiers died on Sunday in a roadside explosion in the eastern part of the country.

While American citizens and members of Congress were nearly in universal support of the initial military operations in Afghanistan to take out the Taliban and al Qaeda terrorist training camps, support has since waned, particularly among Democrats and liberals who support the return of U.S. troops from both Iraq and Afghanistan.

Many Democratic officeholders, however, including liberal U.S. Representative Betty McCollum from Minnesota's 4th District, have been calling for more aid and resources to Afghanistan for years.

Still, polls conducted by USA Today/Gallup and ABC News/Washington Post in late February after Obama's deployment decision now show one-third of the nation in opposition to sending more troops to Afghanistan. Nearly half of those surveyed in the ABC News polls (47 percent) now believe the war in Afghanistan was not worth fighting.

While the U.S. commander in Afghanistan, General David McKiernan, has lobbied for even more U.S. troops on the ground than those being deployed under Obama's directive, Obama appears to be making good on his campaign pledge to focus on Afghanistan (and its mountainous border region with Pakistan) in the fight against terrorism and the hunt for Osama Bin Laden.

Previous post: On Why Analyzing the Leaked Coleman Data Is Ethical: A Reply to My Critics
Next post: Heading (North) West, Young Man? Not So Fast, Minnesota

Leave a comment


Remains of the Data

No Free Passes: States With 2 Major Party Candidates in Every US House Race

Indiana has now placed candidates from both major parties on the ballot in a nation-best 189 consecutive U.S. House races, with New Hampshire, Minnesota, Idaho, and Montana also north of 100 in a row.

Political Crumbs

Gubernatorial Highs and Lows

Two sitting governors currently hold the record for the highest gubernatorial vote ever received in their respective states by a non-incumbent: Republican Matt Mead of Wyoming (65.7 percent in 2010) and outgoing GOPer Dave Heineman of Nebraska (73.4 percent in 2006). Republican Gary Herbert of Utah had not previously won a gubernatorial contest when he notched a state record 64.1 percent for his first victory in 2010, but was an incumbent at the time after ascending to the position in 2009 after the early departure of Jon Huntsman. Meanwhile, two sitting governors hold the record in their states for the lowest mark ever recorded by a winning gubernatorial candidate (incumbent or otherwise): independent-turned-Democrat Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island (36.1 percent in 2010) and Democrat Terry McAuliffe of Virginia (47.8 percent in 2013).


An Idaho Six Pack

Two-term Idaho Republican Governor Butch Otter only polled at 39 percent in a recent PPP survey of the state's 2014 race - just four points ahead of Democratic businessman A.J. Balukoff. Otter's low numbers reflect his own struggles as a candidate (witness his weak primary win against State Senator Russ Fulcher) combined with the opportunity for disgruntled Idahoans to cast their votes for one of four third party and independent candidates, who collectively received the support of 12 percent of likely voters: Libertarian John Bujak, the Constitution Party's Steve Pankey, and independents Jill Humble and Pro-Life (aka Marvin Richardson). The six candidate options in a gubernatorial race sets an all-time record in the Gem State across the 46 elections conducted since statehood. The previous high water mark of five candidates was reached in seven previous cycles: 1902, 1904, 1908, 1912, 1914, 1966, and 2010.


more POLITICAL CRUMBS

Humphrey School Sites
CSPG
Humphrey New Media Hub

Issues />

<div id=
Abortion
Afghanistan
Budget and taxes
Campaign finances
Crime and punishment
Economy and jobs
Education
Energy
Environment
Foreign affairs
Gender
Health
Housing
Ideology
Immigration
Iraq
Media
Military
Partisanship
Race and ethnicity
Reapportionment
Redistricting
Religion
Sexuality
Sports
Terrorism
Third parties
Transportation
Voting