“DEAR MR. PRESIDENT…”

A soldier sprints while carrying an American flag during the New York City Tunnel to Towers Run to raise awareness for military causes in New York. Photo by Randall Clinton.
A soldier sprints while carrying an American flag during the New York City Tunnel to Towers Run to raise awareness for military causes in New York. Photo by Randall Clinton.

When US President Barack Obama ended the war in Iraq, many thanked him. Among those who eyes had tinkled, there was a little boy Ian. He was so happy that he wrote a letter to thank his president.

His Dad had came home for good. Watch this video.

But let us not forget that – during the war in Iraq, 4,409 American soldiers were killed. Read the official death toll, released by Pentagon, the US Department of Defense.

Recently, Iraqi Defence Minister Sadun Farhan al-Dulaymi Babakir visited Washington looking to establish more security cooperation, joint exercises and professional development.

To this, US Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said he has the impression “that after seeing what the last eight months without us looks like – and I don’t mean we are coming back to Iraq – but their capabilities may require yet additional development and they are reaching out to us to see if we can help with that.”

‘It’s Great To Be Back’ From Iraq

On December 20, 2011, a small but star-studded ceremony was held to mark the return of US Forces Iraq’s last troops when Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, Dempsey and Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter joined family members of about 30 returning service members to welcome those final few troops — including Army Gen. Lloyd J. Austin III, the last commander of US Forces-Iraq — home.

Obama, Biden,  Carter, Dempsey and Austin welcoming final troops home. Photo by Tyrone Marshall Jr.
Obama, Biden, Carter, Dempsey and Austin welcoming final troops home. Photo by Tyrone Marshall Jr.

Five days before that, Austin presided over a ceremony in Baghdad marking the end of the war in Iraq. And before his leaders at home, he said – “It is great to be back in the United States of America.”

Austin was part of the war’s first wave nearly 10 years ago, in March 2003, when he ordered lead elements over the Kuwaiti border into Iraq and from September 2010 until the final withdrawal, he oversaw what he called “one of the most extraordinary feats in our military’s history:” the end of mission and return of US troops and equipment from Iraq.

“Sunday, the last of our troops crossed the border from Iraq to Kuwait, with their equipment,” he said. “They did it in an orderly fashion, [and] they did it ahead of schedule.”

Iraq MapThe military-led mission in Iraq has come to a successful conclusion, Austin added.

“Please know that your sacrifices were instrumental in liberating an oppressed people, in providing them an opportunity to enjoy a better way of life,” he said. “You have set the conditions for democracy to take root in a region that is critically important to the United States of America … again, thank you for a job extremely well done.”

Click here to read: Tracking Reconstruction and Security in Post-Saddam Iraq

Click here to read : Stop this madness, Stop killing people; I don’t want this blood-thirsty democracy.

Two Thousand Dead In Afghanistan

US troops at  Farah City in Afghanistan. Photo by  Benjamin Addison.
US troops in Afghanistan. Photo by Benjamin Addison.

And as of 27 September, 2012 the Pentagon’s official military death toll for Afghanistan had stood at 1,996.

Now a checkpoint shooting in eastern Afghanistan has taken the US military’s death toll there past 2,000.

Also, at least 17,644 US soldiers have been wounded in action in Afghanistan.

Any estimate about the Afghan toll? A rough calculation puts it at 20,000 civilian deaths + 10,000 heads from the Afghan security forces.

And what about the deaths from the Taliban and other insurgents?

Click here for a report by the Washington-based public policy organisation Brookings on Afghanistan (that includes selected data on Pakistan).

3 comments

  1. Can we stop having wars? I am sure humans have tried to create peaceful solutions since time immemorial. At the same time, bloody conflicts have dogged the human race over and over again. Is it a result of mankind’s striving for improvement and more of something that leads us to bloody conflict? Is there a solution?

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