DoD Op Enduring Freedom Casualty update as of 10am 22nd Jan 2010
US Casualties in Afghanistan
Casualties continue to mount in Afghanistan only a short time into the new year. While last year was the bloodiest year for US/NATO Forces, this year already has 23 casualties. Another 12 have been added this week.
Out of the Headlines
While the world focuses on Haiti, Afghanistan for the most part has been left out of the headlines. NATO soldier continue to be killed at an alarming rate, with the US doing most of the heavy lifting.
Improvised Explosive Devices
The Taliban realizes that it cannot face NATO Forces head on, but it's strategy of roadside bombs, car bombs and suicide bombers in surprise attacks seems to inflict heavy casualties. These homemade devices can be manufactured easily an almost anywhere. It is the mainstay of the Taliban strategy to demoralize morale and influence public opinion.
Is the surge working?
Although surge troops have barely started their deployment, military officials and government authorities claim that the surge is working. Really? This is normally the time that the Taliban take a winter break and do not resume fighting until April. Knowing the volatility of public support for the Afghanistan conflict, they have embarked on a campaign, this year, to reinforce the perception that this war is not winnable for NATO.
While the U.S., Great Britain, Canada and some other continue the engage the Taliban, many NATO countries operate with caveats that does not permit offensive action.
The well planned and coordinated attack in Kabul on January 18th, See NP Story Taliban Target Kabul, has demonstrated major security flaws. The attack highlighted that the Taliban remain determined to inflict casualties and breach areas that are thought to be secure.
Below is the latest DoD update as of 10 am 22 January 2010:
OEF U.S. Military Casualties
Total Deaths KIA Non-Hostile WIA RTD ** WIA Not RTD In and
Around Afghanistan 884 683 201 2018 2810
Other Locations**** 73 5 68
OEF U.S. DoD
Civilian Casualties 2 1 1
Worldwide Total 959 689 270 2018 2,811
Forces stretched to their Limit
With 15,000 U.S. an 2000+ Canadian troops involved in the Aid of Haiti, military forces of both countries are stretched to their limit. While those forces are doing a stellar job on our behalf, how long can they sustain this pace?
Next Thursday, an Afghanistan Conference, sponsored by Great Britain, will be held in London. Ahead of this conference President Karzai has, once again, offered money to the Taliban to lay down arms. Hopefully this conference will come up with some workable solutions to end this conflict.