Good and bad news all in one post. The good news is about November 2008 having only 1 US death in Afghanistan (http://www.heraldextra.com/content/view/290519/36/), that is remarkable since two months out of the summer had more US deaths in Afghanistan than in Iraq. In fact from May through October of 2008 there was an average of 21 US deaths every month. As the article points out “by far the deadliest six-month period in Afghanistan for American forces since the 2001 U.S.-led invasion.”
I have written on this site many times since late 2007 that 2008 would be the worst year ever as every indication pointed to this fact. Twenty-two deaths in Jan-Feb (which are typically some of the quietest months of the year) was a huge sign that ’08 would be bad. May and June had more deaths of US personnel in Afghanistan than in Iraq. By July we had more US killed than any other year since 2001 and the year was only half over.
The good news of November is a welcome relief after such a bad year. Of course if you read the posting from yesterday, then you know the Taliban is claiming thousands of coalition forces killed, but as I pointed out Taliban Tony is talking out of his fourth point of contact.
The reality is that 2008 was a bad year for our men and women serving in the country that time forgot, but not as bad as the enemy claims. If you check out http://www.swissinfo.org/eng/news/international/U_S_toll_in_Afghanistan_at_record_high_in_2008.html you will see some of the numbers and the increases we had since 2007 in Afghanistan. Currently the think tanks and Sunday morning talk show generals are saying that it will not get better until 2010, with 2009 being even worse. I feel the same way and I think we will see 2009 being worse. Partly becuase we are going to surge in a whole bunch of more war-fighters (upwards of 30,000) whose sole purpose is to act on intel, find, fix and kill the enemy. If you throw enough bullets and bombs in the air, our soldiers are likely to get hit. It is all about odds.
So even though we have great news about November, it is not great news about the entire year of 2008. May God speed and protect our men and women and the men and women of our coalition partners in 2009. May God also help us kill as many of those sons of bitches as possible.