Yeah, I’m not talking about the Super Bowl. I just spent all week with some friends from Pittsburgh, and they’re all pretty depressed, regardless of which team wins. What I’m talking about is the news from Navy Times that American deaths in the Afghan War have declined to a four year low in the last three months of last year. During that period, there were only 30 American deaths. Continuing this trend, last month only three soldiers died, including one who was injured in December, and succumbed in January.
We thus have reason to hope that the ultimate sacrifice paid by so many of our brave military and their family may likely be drawing to a close in these two decade-long wars. According to Navy Times, there are basically two reasons for the decrease. The US has changed its role from attacking insurgents to advising and assisting the Afghan forces which have taken over much of the direct fighting. As well, the Taliban has decided not to directly attack the American forces.
Since September 11, 2001, around 4,500 Americans died in Iraq, while more than 2,000 perished in Afghanistan. Combined between the two conflicts, another 50,000 military have been wounded. We still have 606000 troops in Afghanistan; most are expected to be removed by the end of next year, when our adventure there is scheduled to be drawn to a close.
So, today, when you are cheering on your favorite team, remember that all of us get to celebrate this event.