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

Which States Have the Longest and Shortest Election Day Voting Hours?

Residents in some North Dakota towns have less than half as many hours to cast their ballots as those in New York State.

Political Crumbs

No 100-Year Curse for Roberts

Defeating his Tea Party primary challenger Milton Wolf with just 48.1 percent of the vote, Pat Roberts narrowly escaped becoming the first elected U.S. Senator from Kansas to lose a renomination bid in 100 years. The last - and so far only - elected U.S. Senator to lose a Kansas primary was one-term Republican Joseph Bristow in 1914. Bristow was defeated by former U.S. Senator Charles Curtis who went on to win three terms before becoming Herbert Hoover's running mate in 1928. Only one other U.S. Senator from the Sunflower State has lost a primary since the passage of the 17th Amendment: Sheila Frahm in 1996. Frahm was appointed to fill Bob Dole's seat earlier that year and finished 13.2 points behind Sam Brownback in the three-candidate primary field. Overall, incumbent senators from Kansas have won 29 times against two defeats in the direct vote era. (Curtis also lost a primary in 1912 to Walter Stubbs, one year before the nation moved to direct elections).


The Second Time Around

Former Republican Congressman Bob Beauprez became the seventh major party or second place gubernatorial candidate in Colorado to get a second chance at the office when he narrowly won his party's nomination last month. Two of the previous six candidates were successful. Democrat Alva Adams lost his first gubernatorial bid to Benjamin Eaton in 1884, but was victorious two years later against William Meyer. Democrat Charles Johnson placed third in 1894 behind Republican Albert McIntyre and Populist incumbent Governor David Waite but returned as the Fusion (Democrat/Populist) nominee in 1898 and defeated GOPer Henry Wolcott. Gubernatorial candidates who received a second chance but lost both general elections include Democrat Thomas Patterson (1888, 1914), Progressive Edward Costigan (1912, 1914), Republican Donald Brotzman (1954, 1956), and Republican David Strickland (1978, 1986).


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