Meanwhile…

I just read that 3 more American servicemen were killed in Afghanistan this week.  That makes seven this month.  I have no idea how many Afghans were killed lately.  I’m not sure anyone even keeps count.

There are over 60,000 American troops deployed in Afghanistan today, down from the peak of over 100,000 in 2011-12, but still nearly triple the number who were there when President Obama took office.  There are also over 108,000 taxpayer-funded quasi-military private contractors in Afghanistan.  That number continues to grow.

This month marks the 12th anniversary of the beginning of the war in Afghanistan.  It is the longest-running war in American history.

Many of the American soldiers now in Afghanistan were only 6 or 7 years old at the time of the 9/11 attacks.   As were their Afghan counterparts.

70% of the population of Afghanistan is under 30 years old.

They have never known a time of peace.

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13 comments on “Meanwhile…

  1. Bob Braxton says:

    sing loud to end war and stuff – Arlo Guthrie, Alice’s Restaurant

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  2. What an eye opening post. What telling numbers. And it’s all about stealing their resources for our techno gadgets: their mountains are filled with what we need to feed our greed.

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  3. Jeff says:

    Actually, there were 30,100 troops in Afghanistan in 2008. Perhaps, one day, folks will wake up and see through the lies pouring out of Washington, but I don’t have high hopes for that. But maybe Obama finally over-played his hand in Syria … the military-industrial-congressional complex must be regretting that they put this clown in office – he’s doing a great job blowing their cover. And no, I’m not a Tea Party person – I voted for Obama in 2008. I fell for his lies. I wanted to believe.

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    • Bill says:

      Thanks for the clarification. I’ve actually read that report twice in the past, but without checking carefully I thought I remembered the number as being in the 20s and decided that was close enough to 1/3 of 68 to get away with “nearly triple.” But it’s more accurate to say “double” (at the peak it was more than triple).

      Many people share your frustration. This state of perpetual war has become the norm. It is very profitable for the MIC.

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  4. Fox says:

    We were studying a much earlier war in Afghanistan in the kid’s history class not that long ago. That poor country has always had conflict. I can’t imagine what they must be going through.

    It’s sad to think my kids have never known a time that our country hasn’t been at war. Beekee doesn’t remember it since he was so young, but Corde saw her dad deployed to Iraq twice. Oz deployed to Iraq too. It’s sad to think how many kids are growing up with war, deployment to foreign countries, and death tolls being just another fact of life. It’s even harder to think of the children that grow up with war in their homeland being what they understand to be normal. It truly saddens me.

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    • Bill says:

      Afghanistan has long been known as “the burial ground of empires.” It does have a sad and violent history.

      It is sad that so few have had to carry the burden of these wars. One of our neighbors was deployed repeatedly, missing much of his children’s lives. Sorry y’all had to go through that too.

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      • Fox says:

        It’s definitely an experience I wouldn’t give up. I learned a lot. My life would be very different without those experiences. Now I can use that to educate and inform others.

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  5. El Guapo says:

    As an American, and with the way the war is compartmentalized from our daily life, that last sentence is both horrifying and hard to wrap my head aroundl

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    • Bill says:

      Exactly. We look around at our daily lives and see no evidence that we’re at war. There is no chance that any of us will ever have to suffer any hardship as a result. As you say, it is compartmentalized from our daily lives.

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  6. You can bet the families of dead Afghans count the soldiers they lose – every one of them a mother’s child. Sting’s song “Russians” comes to mind. Way back in my Navy days, which began when the Cold War was on the wane, but still a reality, I bought into peacekeeping ideology and the need for intervention internationally. I’ve since come to realize that countries intervene in places like Iraq and Afghanistan to protect their own interests, and for no other reason. .

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    • Bill says:

      A good message in that song. We count “our” losses, while ignoring the damage done to those who aren’t part of our tribe.
      In my younger days I was a hawk. I studied international relations and believed that war was a legitimate means of problem-solving. Now I know that it isn’t the answer to any problem. For some, of course, it is very profitable. Dylan’s “Masters of War” comes to my mind.

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