Ever since Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara, US Army Chief of Staff General William Westmoreland and his Asst. Chief of Staff for Intelligence when big chunks of the wall began to be knocked down as East German border guards walked off the job.
What is to make of the latest Defense Department report which points to increased success by the Taliban and Al Qaeda against NATO troops serving in Afghanistan? In a sobering report by Tom Vanden Brook published today by USA Today, “since President Obama took office in January 2009 and vowed to end Taliban gains in Afghanistan, casualties from improvised explosive devices (IEDs) have nearly quadrupled. In 2010, the bombs wounded 3,366 U.S. troops, which is nearly 60% of the total IED-wounded since the war’s start in late 2001, according to Pentagon figures.” These are numbers which are difficult to ignore and suggest that the battlefield terrain is far more hostile than military briefings to the President and Congress would suggest.
Even those accustomed to spinning the “bright-side” of even the darkest piece of news would have a difficult time finding a ray of light in these grim statistics. If the trend line of servicemembers killed or wounded by IED attacks is not curbed soon, it will be impossible to pretend that we are making progress in Afghanistan.Share