Meanwhile, in the other war
And the trend continues:
June was the second deadliest month for the military in Afghanistan since the war began, with 23 American deaths from hostilities, compared with 22 in Iraq. July was less deadly, with 20 deaths, compared with six in Iraq. On July 22, nearly seven years after the conflict began on Oct. 7, 2001, the United States lost its 500th soldier in the Afghanistan war.
Of course, Afghanistan is a much different war with more international cooperation and far fewer American troops. The population and population density are also substantially less than Iraq. Though we have managed to once again give a people we’ve occupied a massively corrupt government. But then again, Freedom isn’t Free!
The tactical situation in Afghanistan is also demonstrably worse than Iraq, even if not the strategic disaster the latter most definitely is by the invasion’s mere occurrence. As the Bush Administration ignored the country in favor of the foolish Iraqi invasion and occupation, the situation on the ground has at the best of times stalemated and now has developed into a losing hand for the allies:
Late last month, the military released data showing that insurgent activity had soared, with attacks in eastern border regions up nearly 40 percent from last year.
“Make no mistake, NATO is not winning in Afghanistan,” the Atlantic Council of the United States, a nongovernmental organization dedicated to fostering ties between North America and Europe, warned in a report in January. “Unless this reality is understood and action is taken promptly, the future of Afghanistan is bleak.”
And as the article points out that is from the Pentagon itself…
The report was actually one of the more positive assessments among a deluge of critical reports on the war’s progress issued this year by international study groups.
There is definitely a danger lurking in Afghanistan and no easy solution — and greater engagement is no guarantee — but one thing is certain, as in all things, Bush and his fixation on Iraq has certainly managed to make Afghanistan worse.
(photo of flight near Bagram Airfield soldiersmediacenter)