Saturday, August 09, 2008

The war we won...

4-Star General says of Afghanistan: "This is a 25 year campaign. We must be patient in our expectations." |
The front page of The New York Times today featured a report that on July 22, the "official" death toll of U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan reached 500.

Retired four-star Army General Barry R. McCaffrey was in Afghanistan that day. He was there compiling information for a report given to the head of West Point's department of social sciences and first revealed in Small Wars Journal. The report is a frightening one and, due to its implications, perhaps even sadder than the two-page spread of photographs of service members killed in Afghanistan in The New York Times today.

Here are some of the shocking points McCaffrey makes in his report about Afghanistan:
  • 68 percent of the population has never known peace
  • Life expectancy is 44 years
  • One of six pregnant Afghan women dies for each live birth, the second highest maternal mortality rate in the world
  • 40 percent unemployment rate
  • 41 percent of the population lives in "extreme poverty"
  • 12 percent inflation
  • Terrorist incidents and insurgent violence have risen 34 percent this year
  • Battle action and casualties are now much higher in Afghanistan for U.S. forces than they are in Iraq
  • Many U.S. troops in Afghanistan are on their fourth or more combat deployment since 9/11
  • The security situation, the economy, and Afghan governance are all likely to get worse in the coming 24 months
Technorati Tags: , , ,